Passengers at the heart of new plans for multi-billion pound investment in the railway: Passengers image

Thursday 28 Mar 2019

Passengers at the heart of new plans for multi-billion pound investment in the railway

Detailed plans for a multi-billion pound investment to improve the railway for passengers have been published by Network Rail today. The plans show how the company will spend over £42 billion to increase reliability and improve performance over the next five years.


The plans focus on making improvements to what matters most to passengers and freight users, targeting punctuality and reliability through better assets, timetables and information, and working much more closely with train operating companies. The plans have been worked up from a local level, with individual regions benefitting for the first time from their own budgets, designed in collaboration with local people.

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.

Network Rail’s chief executive Andrew Haines said: “Passengers and freight users are at the heart of our plans over the next five years. Performance has been nowhere near good enough and public trust in our industry has declined. This must change.

“Our role is to deliver a railway that people can rely on, with trains that turn up and arrive at their destination on time, and where passengers have confidence they are in safe hands. This is what we must deliver daily and what we will, and should, be held to account for throughout CP6.

“Our plans for the next five years bring us much closer to train operating companies and local decision makers, they cut red tape and make it easier for others to work with us, and most importantly they put a real focus on the users of the railway.”

Rail Minister Andrew Jones said: “We are investing in the biggest modernisation of our rail network in over a century, spending a record £48 billion on the network’s infrastructure in England and Wales between 2019 and 2024, including funding for vital enhancements.

“By improving trains, tracks and stations right across the country, we will deliver more reliable, frequent and comfortable journeys for passengers and better connect our communities.”

In a further change, Andrew Haines – who has been in post since last summer – recently announced a new organisational structure, further devolving from eight geographic routes to 13, organised into five regions. The routes will be responsible for the day-to-day delivery of train performance and will develop a strong partnership with the train operating companies in their area.

Andrew Haines said: “In order to effectively deliver our plans for CP6, and to rebuild trust with those that use the railway, we must change the way we work, both within our own organisation and with the rest of the industry. We are embedding a customer service culture at every level and from now on we will work together to put passengers first.”

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Notes to editors

  • Delivery plan documents can be downloaded at
  • The delivery plans set out how money will be spent on operations, maintenance and renewals and total around £42 billion of funding (£38 billion for England and Wales, £4 billion for Scotland), as approved in the ORR’s final determination.
  • The £42 billion forms part of the total government funding available of £53 billion ­– £48 billion for England and Wales from the Department for Transport, and £5 billion from Transport Scotland. The £53 billion includes funding for enhancements, both committed schemes from CP5 and new projects in CP6.
  • 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.

Contact information

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03457 11 41 41

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Paula Whitworth

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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