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UK rail set to see less capital expenditure from 2014

Enhancement work on the nation’s railway will drop from a budgeted £11.8bn in this period (2009 to 2014) to an estimated £10.1bn from 2014 to 2019, the Initial Industry Plan (IIP) has said.

Network Rail said that completion of key projects underway such as Thameslink, Crossrail and electrification schemes would cost £4.9bn in the five-year control period from 2014 to 2019.

There are proposals for a fruther £5.6bn of investment in projects such as the Northern Hub and electrification of the Midland Main line and North Transpennine, but Network Rail said there will be no new large capital schemes such as Crossrail or Thameslink.

The plan is written by Network Rail, train operators and industry suppliers. It now goes to the Office of Rail Regulation, which will offer guidance to government in February.

Projects in the pipeline

The plan identifies £5.6bn of investment options, including:

  • The Northern Hub - a £560M scheme to deliver over 700 more daily services between Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield
  • Further electrification - Midland main line, North Trans-Pennine, Cardiff Valleys and further schemes in Scotland
  • Further development of the freight network to provide capacity for a 30% increase in freight tonne kilometres - equivalent to 15,000 lorry journeys per day
  • Journey time improvements in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Bristol and Oxford areas
  • Some 600 extra new train carriages to take advantage of these capacity enhancing infrastructure schemes
  • Improvements for medium-to-large-size stations such as Fenchurch Street, Wimbledon and Liverpool Central
  • £200M scheme to improve journey times and increase the numbers of services to and from Inverness and Aberdeen and to the commuter network of the two cities
  • New operating strategy - moving from 800 signal boxes to 14 modern signalling centres (30 year time-frame)


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