Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Network Rail to consult on new lines

Rail infrastructure operator Network Rail has opened a consultation into building new rail lines - which could be high speed lines - along five of its most congested corridors.

The strategic review will look at five strategic routes, north and west of London: Chiltern, East Coast, West Coast, Great Western and Midland Main Lines.

The Conservatives have said they will back high speed rail in any coming election.

Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher said: "By 2025 many lines will be full up, especially those running to and from the north and west of London. This will happen even after we have implemented the investment to boost current capacity.

"With popularity for rail growing, we have to start planning for the medium- and long-term future today. We have to see how we can meet the capacity challenge and see what solutions – including potentially, that of new lines – are deliverable and affordable. This review, working in partnership with other players in the railway industry, will kick start this process.

"Network Rail is uniquely positioned to take a network-whole approach in planning the railway of the future. We have a thriving railway today and that must continue and grow to meet the economic and environmental needs of tomorrow's Great Britain."

Congestion on the rail network is predicted to increase in the coming years, with a 40% increase in passenger numbers in the past 10 years alone, now carrying 1.13bn journeys per year.

Today some 22,000 services run on weekdays – up from 17,000 at the time of privatisation. Freight has also increased by 60%, although from a lower starting point.

Network Rail has launched a tendering process to appoint a consultancy to assist this study.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.