Monday 1 Apr 2019
Passengers at the heart of Network Rail Wales and Borders' five-year spending plan
Plans for £2bn investment to improve the railway for passengers across Wales and Borders have been published by Network Rail. The plan represents a 28 per cent increase in spending compared to the last funding period (2014-2019) to increase reliability and improve performance over the next five years.
It is the first time that the Wales and Borders funding plan has been developed by Network Rail Wales and Borders and is made up of over a thousand local schemes designed to deliver improvements for as many passengers as possible.
The plan is focused on maintaining and renewing the existing railway to improve train punctuality and reliability for passengers. This includes investing an additional £27.7m to improve the railway’s extreme weather resilience, £176m on track renewals and refurbishments and £135m to improve signalling in West Wales.
Major improvement work will include investing £22m to renew the iconic Grade II listed Barmouth viaduct and delivering Phase 2 of the Port Talbot re-signalling scheme to improve reliability on this part of the network. Phase 1 of the project was completed earlier this year and included the installation of 160 miles of new cable, 55 new LED digital signals, 160 metres of new track and buffers at Swansea station.
Network Rail will also install new pumps at Sudbrook pumping station, which pumps water from the Severn Tunnel. This will reduce the energy consumed by the pumping station by up to 5 per cent, as well as ensuring that rail services on the South Wales Main Line continue to be safeguarded from flooding.
The funding will support Transport for Wales’ significant investment of £5bn over 15 years, which will see passengers benefiting from new trains, improved stations and increased capacity across the network.
Bill Kelly, route managing director for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, said: “We’ve put passengers and our freight customers first in developing our five-year plan, which will make the railway more reliable for the thousands of people who use it every day.
“Our focus over the next five years will rightly be on operating a railway people can rely on to get them to their destinations safely and on time, and we will be working closely with Transport for Wales to maximise every investment opportunity for the benefit of our passengers and freight customers.”
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said: “It’s encouraging to see Network Rail committing £2bn to maintain and renew the railway across our Wales and Borders network. At Transport for Wales we have begun our investment plan of £5bn to transform transport across the sector as a result of which passengers will benefit from new trains, improved and new stations and an overall increase in capacity across the network.
“The customer experience is at the heart of our decision making and planning as we continue to move forward and deliver our vision. We are working collaboratively with Network Rail and through this planned investment, we will create a rail service that the people of Wales can be proud of.”
Notes to Editors
Notes to editors
Network Rail’s funding is made available from governments over five year periods, known as control periods, with control period 6 (CP6) starting on 1 April and running until 2024. Earlier this year the company accepted the Office of Rail and Road (ORR)’s ‘final determination’, which set out what should be delivered for the funding available. The publication of today’s delivery plans gives the detail of how the money will be spent.
The summary of the Wales and Borders CP6 delivery plan can be downloaded at [link].
The delivery plans set out how money will be spent on operations, maintenance and renewals and total around £2 billion, as approved in the ORR’s final determination. For CP6, enhancements will be considered on a case by case basis rather than in the one five-year budget. This pipeline approach will be supported by business cases to confirm the strategic fit, value for money, affordability and deliverability of proposals.
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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.