Network Rail has submitted a £37.5bn five-year strategic business plan to the Office of Rail Regulation in the UK to develop railway infrastructure across the country.
The plan, which will cover the period from 2014 to 2019, called control period five (CP5), aims to meet the network’s continuing year-on-year passenger and freight growth.
Network Rail’s plan for CP5 is designed to maintain and enhance the UK’s ageing rail infrastructure and reduce the cost of running the rail network.
If the plan is approved, 170,000 more peak-time commuter seats are expected to be available by 2019, when the network is expected to carry an additional 225 million passengers and 355,000 more trains per year.
By the end of 2019, the company intends to achieve a public performance measure of 92.5%, provide 20% extra morning peak seats into central London and 32% into large regional cities in England and Wales.
Network Rail also aims to cut the cost of operating the UK’s railways by 18% and reduce annual public subsidy to between £2.6bn and £2.9bn by 2019, down from £4.5bn in 2009 and £7bn in 2004.
From the overall investment, the operator has earmarked £4bn for Scotland, £550m for the West Midlands rail infrastructure, £2.2bn for the east of England and £900m to rebuild the railway in and around Reading station.
An estimated £1bn is planned to be invested in modernising the entire network in Wales, including electrification of the main line to Swansea and the Valleys network.
The company would carry out electrification work on 850 miles of rail track in England, including the Great Western Main Line and the Midland Main Line, as well as introducing faster, more reliable trains.
The overall plan would also see the company invest £6bn to complete the Thameslink upgrade programme, £2.3bn to finish the surface elements of the Crossrail project and a £200m investment in the strategic freight network.
Image: Network Rail’s £37.5bn plan aims to meet the UK network’s continuing year-on-year passenger and freight growth. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.