British train companies, Network Rail and suppliers launch long-term plan for improved railway

Apprentices from across the rail industry gather together in the Canal Tunnels near Kings Cross. Credit: RDG.
Apprentices from across the rail industry gather together in the Canal Tunnels near Kings Cross. Credit: RDG.

Passenger and freight operators, Network Rail and their suppliers have launched a long-term plan for Britain’s railway.

The plan makes four commitments to changing the country’s public and private partnership railway to drive up to £84 billion in additional economic benefits by connecting people to jobs, housing and business opportunities.

Launching the plan, which is titled ‘In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity’, the Rail Delivery Group’s CEO Paul Plummer said that the plan will deliver the railway that the economy, customers and communities needs as Britain prepares to leave the EU.

The commitments are:

  • To strengthen the railway’s contribution to the economy, keep running costs in the black, free up taxpayers’ money;
  • To increase customer satisfaction by improving the railway to remain the top-rated major railway in Europe;
  • To boost local communities through localised decision making and investment;
  • To create more jobs, increase diversity and provide our employees with rewarding careers.

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Research by economics consultancy Oxera shows that more than £50 billion public and private investment through the partnership railway between 2014-2020 could deliver up to £84 billion to the economy over the life of the assets. This is above the £31 billion of existing benefits the railway provides per year.

The more than £50 billion of investment covers:

  • Around £12.7bn in Network Rail renewals work during CP5;
  • £15.1bn in enhancement investment to the rail network;
  • £7.7bn in spending on HS2 between 2015 and 2019;
  • Almost £6bn planned investment in Crossrail during CP5;
  • £11.6bn of investment in around 5,700 new carriages by 2021.

Network Rail CEO Mark Carne added: “Over the next 18 months passengers and communities across the country will see a transformation in the services that they receive.

“Thousands of new trains will be introduced as the culmination of years of heavy investment in improving our railway comes to fruition, stimulating the economy by delivering new job and housing opportunities.

“Network Rail’s transformation is bringing track and train more closely together for the benefit of passengers.”

Read more: London Northwestern brand to replace London Midland’s West Coast services


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