Passengers at the heart of new plans to spend a record £4.3 billion on the railway in south London, Kent and Sussex: Balcombe track replacements

Thursday 28 Mar 2019

Passengers at the heart of new plans to spend a record £4.3 billion on the railway in south London, Kent and Sussex

Region & Route:

Network Rail South East has today published plans to spend a record £4.3 billion over the next five years.

The Government gives Network Rail funding in five-year periods, known as control periods, and the record settlement for control period 6 (CP6), which starts on 1 April and runs until 2024, is a billion pound more than the CP5 settlement.

Network Rail South East’s managing director, John Halsall, said:

“Passengers are at the heart of our plan for the next five years, because of the huge impact the railway has on them, their employers and the economy.

“This record funding gives us a fantastic opportunity to begin to put things right and move us closer to our vision of running the UK’s best metro-style railway in the next decade.

“Our ambition is to run a railway service which is sustainable, efficient, dependable, punctual, frequent and safe – one that passengers trust.”

South East Route at a glance

For CP6, the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) has allocated the South East route £2 billion for operating costs, including increased maintenance; £2 billion for renewals; and a further £304m from the route’s risk fund which could be reinvested in the railway.

John Halsall added:

“We now need to spend this money wisely and that means prioritising maintenance to keep our infrastructure running reliably, while using the extra funding to renew critical infrastructure to improve long term performance.

“Through closer working with train operators Southeastern and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and better use of technology to understand the causes of delay, we’ve delivered the best ever results for trains arriving within a minute of their scheduled time in the last few months of 2018.

“However, we recognise performance has not been good enough and together we will continue to strive for improvement during CP6.”

The South East route’s five-year plan includes:

  • The replacement of 662km of rail; that’s the equivalent of three-and-a-half times around the M25.
  • The renewal of 55 bridges and 18 level crossings.
  • A £66m programme of works across our portfolio of track and metallic structures, including Cannon Street Bridge, Borough Market viaduct and Oxted viaduct, where speed restrictions imposed due to their condition is impacting train performance.
  • Improving the condition of 300 of our worst condition earthworks sites and installing more monitoring systems to automatically notify us of any movement in embankments or cuttings before it affects the train service.
  • Continuing to transform our stations to improve passenger experience by delivering upgrades at more than 150 stations.
  • Electrical work to improve safety on the network for Network Rail and train operating staff. This includes £20m of works at train depots including Grove Park, Slade Green and Ramsgate.

To read Network Rail South East’s plan, visit

Notes to Editors

  • Earlier this year, Network Rail 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 plan details how that money will be spent.

  • The plans set out how money will be spent on operations, maintenance and renewals and nationally 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.

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Paul Dent-Jones

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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