Britain runs on rail: New figures show the full extent of the rail industry’s contribution to south London, Surrey and Berkshire: Waterloo International Terminal  (Artist's impression)

Tuesday 28 Mar 2017

Britain runs on rail: New figures show the full extent of the rail industry’s contribution to south London, Surrey and Berkshire

  • Network Rail spent over £800 million with over 200 local businesses last year
  • £100 million spent every single week by Network Rail on improving the railway in Britain

The rail industry, including Network Rail and South West Trains, is working together to deliver a record £50 billion plus investment in Britain’s railway. This investment supports jobs, growth and drives development, regeneration and unlocks housing supply in London, Surrey and Berkshire.

Stuart Kistruck, director of route asset management at Network Rail, said: “As part of delivering record investment in the railway, Network Rail is spending money with over 200 local businesses across London, Surrey and Berkshire.

“The railway is vital to economic growth. That’s why Network Rail is spending £100 million every week in Britain on our Railway Upgrade Plan. Here on the Wessex route we are spending hundreds of millions of pounds annually to provide a safe, reliable railway. A great example of this plan in action is the £800 million Waterloo & South West Upgrade which will boost capacity at Waterloo by 30% by the end of 2018.”

The enormous scheme, which is currently underway, involves adding more platforms at Waterloo by bringing the former International Terminal back into use, extending four existing platforms at Waterloo, and introducing a fleet of 150 new trains on the network.

Mr Kistruck added: “We intend to keep contributing to the economy in London and the south west, working with local businesses and creating jobs for local people on improving the railway to bring more connectivity and even more prosperity to all.”

Margaret Kay, managing director of South West Trains, said: “We are very proud of our record alongside Network Rail in delivering significant improvements for passengers.

“In the past year alone, we have invested in customer experience improvement projects across the network delivering 1,400 extra car park spaces at our stations, state-of-the-art cycle hubs with additional cycle spaces at 36 stations, innovative video ticket machines at 91 stations and we will continue to upgrade our trains.

“Our £210 million fleet of brand new 707 trains, providing 150 extra carriages for thousands of additional passengers will be out on the network very shortly. We will also continue to roll out our Smart card programme to make travel easier for our passengers.

“Working alongside Network Rail and our industry colleagues, we will deliver the vital upgrade programme at Waterloo this summer. This is the biggest investment in the railway for decades and will provide a significant increase in capacity for the thousands of passengers who use the station.”

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators as well as Network Rail, said: “Train companies and Network Rail are working hard together to improve journeys for the millions of passengers who use the railway every year in London and the south west. The result is going to be more trains running to more places, more often, creating new opportunities and supporting jobs. It will include significant upgrades to Waterloo station and the surrounding network. These improvements will help keep everyone in London and the south west moving and help to support a growing local economy.”

The delivery of record, £50billion plus investment in Britain’s railway is being showcased as part of a public awareness drive known as Britain Runs on Rail, which aims to increase understanding among taxpayers and passengers about how their money is being spent to improve the railway. Britain Runs on Rail is organised by the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail.


Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Owen Johns
Media relations manager (Wessex route)
07710 959476

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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