Rail network in East Midlands to spend £27m to improve drainage as climate change worsens: Soil nails being installed at Braybrooke-2

Wednesday 3 Apr 2024

Rail network in East Midlands to spend £27m to improve drainage as climate change worsens

Region & Route:
| Eastern: East Midlands

£27m is to be spent by Network Rail to improve drainage on the East Midlands’ rail network, helping to prevent major disruption brought to passengers by landslips and heavy rain.

Over the past year, there have been multiple incidents of landslips and flooding across the East Midlands network, including at Braybrooke, near Market Harborough, and Draycott, near Derby, causing major disruption to passengers and communities.

These incidents can potentially be dangerous as well as expensive and time consuming to resolve.

April marks the start of Network Rail’s latest five-year control period (funding cycle) and £27m is earmarked for investment to improve drainage in the East Midlands to help prevent incidents such as these.  

This will include the creation of 22 new dedicated drainage roles on the route, as well as investment in new and existing technology, including remote condition monitoring and CCTV, and the use of natural flood management techniques to manage water before it reaches the rail network.

Network Rail will also use technology to predict and proactively prevent failures and is working to better understand what it can do to remove and reduce issues at flood risk sites. This involves liaising and engaging with multiple stakeholders at sites, including the Environment Agency, local authorities, utility companies, and landowners.

Network Rail’s East Midlands route serves close to 100 stations from major towns and cities including Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, and Bedford as well as more rural communities including Stamford, Oakham, and Spalding, and heading across to the coast at Skegness.

Over the next five years, the route will spend £1.5bn on the day-to-today running of the railway and a widespread programme of renewals and upgrades on the network, improving the experience of passengers as they travel by train.

With this funding, Network Rail’s East Midlands route is committed to delivering a more reliable and greener rail network. Work continues to electrify the Midland Main Line alongside day-to-day investment which will improve climate resilience and connect communities.

Tara Scott, Infrastructure Director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “Over the next five years, we are committed to making the rail network across our route better for all our passengers.

“Climate change is an ever-increasing problem for our aging infrastructure, but we are proactively working to tackle the issue and improve the reliability and resilience of our network.

“We are investing in technology to help us better predict and prevent flooding and landslips across our route, as well as creating 22 new drainage roles in our teams.  We’re also carrying out targeted investment to prepare for the extremes of hot and cold weather.

“In addition to this specific investment, our teams will also be carrying out major improvements to track, switches & crossings, the equipment used for trains to cross from one track to another, signals, level crossings, and more to make sure our railway is meeting the needs of passengers and our freight customers.”

Nationally, Network Rail has announced the start of its £45.4bn rail improvement plan aimed at delivering a simpler, better, greener railway, with major plans to tackle the extremes of climate change.

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Joshua Chapman
Media Relations Manager
Network Rail

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk