Network Rail makes a splash with free drinking water at stations: Charing Cross ticket machines

Monday 12 Feb 2018

Network Rail makes a splash with free drinking water at stations

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  • Network Rail to trial drinking water facilities at London Charing Cross

Users of some of the country’s largest railway stations will soon be able to benefit from the introduction of free drinking water facilities, Network Rail has announced.

The free drinking water initiative, which seeks to encourage station users to refill their own multiple use water bottles, forms part of Network Rail’s wider ambitions to reduce the impact of plastic waste at its stations.

The scheme will begin with the trial installation of a new water fountain at London Charing Cross by the end of March. Learnings from the trial will inform a full rollout of free drinking water facilities across all Network Rail’s managed stations later in the year with fountains installed where it is practical and feasible to do so.

The new facilities will provide free drinking water on the go for the millions of people who use Network Rail managed stations annually, improving station user experience.

As one of the country’s largest retail landlords, Network Rail understands the impact of single-use plastics on the environment and is also looking at ways it can work together with its station food and beverage retail tenants to reduce plastic waste.

Network Rail has been encouraged by the action of some of its retailers who have already taken steps to reduce their use of plastics, and wants to work with them to have even more impact. This could include providing free drinking water instore to complement facilities on the station concourse, or encouraging them to make simple changes to the materials used in their cutlery or packaging.

David Biggs, Network Rail's managing director of property said:  “At Network Rail we put station users at the heart of everything we do and our managed stations are carefully designed to ensure that people can enjoy a great experience - whether they’re travelling, shopping, dining or socialising. 

“By introducing free water fountains at our managed stations we can make a simple change that not only helps quench the thirst of station users, but also has a positive impact on our sustainability ambitions by reducing single-use plastics.

“We’re looking forward to the introduction of these water fountains and the benefits they will bring the public and the environment.”

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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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