Wednesday 31 Mar 2004


Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western
Network Rail today unveiled its 2004 business plan, which highlights unprecedented investment and a clear plan for improving Britain’s railway. Over the next five years the company will spend some £26 billion to deliver a safe, reliable and value for money railway. The investment will be spread throughout the country, including the Great Western region where almost £1.7bn will be spent in the next five years on projects which will bring major improvements to the region’s network. The 2004 Business Plan is the first ‘real’ plan based on a fixed and certain level of income and gives the Business stability and a clear direction. It sets out a detailed blueprint for improving performance and reducing costs through a huge programme of action and activity. It demonstrates how Network Rail will spend £14 million each day on operating, maintaining, renewing and enhancing the network to deliver the maximum benefit for Britain’s rail users. The plan details Network Rail’s commitment to achieving better than pre-Hatfield levels before the end of 2006. Whilst this is already the case in certain parts of the country on some days and weeks, the Company’s challenge is to do so consistently over a 12-month period. Network Rail further shows how it will achieve consistent train punctuality within five years. -more- Plan - 2 John Curley, Great Western Regional Director for Network Rail, said: “This plan will build on the substantial achievements of the last 18 months. Train punctuality has improved significantly and Network Rail delays have reduced. We are not complacent. We recognise the urgent need to improve the railways and that much remains to be done. Network Rail relishes the challenge ahead as it forges a new railway that is better able to cope with the increasing demands placed upon it.” “Many major projects have already been started but we have a long way to go to undo the years of under-investment in the railway. This 10-year plan represents a major and concerted step forward in our overall plan to deliver a better train service to the public.” Major investments outlined in today’s Network Rail Business Plan for the Great Western region include: ·        Major track renewal on the Great Western mainline from London Paddington to Bristol and South Wales ·        Patchway Tunnel major drainage works ·        Significant projects to remove bottle necks on the network at Filton (Bristol) and Probus/Burngullow (Cornwall) ·        Structures work on the main Reading/Penzance line via Taunton and maintenance work on West Country secondary routes ·        Major upgrade of the line in the Vale of Glamorgan and the re-opening of the Barry/ Bridgend passenger line ·        Re-signalling at Port Talbot ·        Significant structures and maintenance on the Cambrian Line John Curley added: “We are determined to succeed and with this unprecedented level of investment and activity, the professionalism and dedication of our people, then success is something we can look forward to as we build a better railway for our customers and the passenger.”

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About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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