Today, Britain’s rail companies have published the Rail Investment Report 2020, a document that outlines the industry’s commitment to deliver over 1,000 extra services a week for passengers and introduce 1,000 new carriages in the year ahead.
In total, an estimated £20 billion will be invested in running and upgrading the railway in 2020.
Improvements due to be delivered next year include:
- Scotland: The £120million major redevelopment of Glasgow Queen Street Station will be completed and the redevelopment of Aberdeen Station will begin
- North of England: New and upgraded trains will be delivered for passengers travelling with TransPennine Express, Merseyrail, LNER, Northern, Hull Trains and Grand Central
- Wales: £40 million train refurbishment programme will continue with 186 more services running on Sundays
- Midlands: A new half-hourly service between St Pancras International and Corby will be introduced, 180 new trains with space for 50,000 additional passengers to and from Birmingham will start to run, and Wolverhampton Interchange will also open as part of a £150 million transport hub
- East Anglia: £1.4 billion investment in 169 new trains on Greater Anglia and a £27 million route upgrade allowing longer trains to run between Cambridge and King´s Lynn. Track upgrades will enable 10 extra freight trains per day to run to Felixstowe, removing up to 760 lorries from the road
- South West: Quicker, more regular services following planned timetable change and £80 million upgrade of the sea wall in Dawlish
- London and South of England: 90 new trains on South Western Railway and construction will start on the £150 million upgrade of Gatwick Airport station
The investment report builds on the industry’s long-term plan to improve passenger and freight services to benefit customers, communities and the economy. Significant progress has been made since this plan was published two years ago with more than 2,500 brand new carriages already introduced and over 4,000 extra services running each week, improving journeys and better connecting communities across the country.
Further commitments made by operators since then mean that by the middle of 2020s, over 11,300 extra trains a week will have been added to timetables, an overall increase of almost 10 per cent. This is alongside 8,000 new train carriages over the same period, an increase of 1,000 on previous plans and equivalent to replacing over half of the nation’s trains new for old.
Passengers will also benef from hundreds of upgraded train carriages which are being refurbished like new.
With 98p of every £1 spent on tickets goes back into running and improving the railway, money from fares is crucial to underpinning these improvements. Passenger numbers have doubled in the last 20 years, meaning money from fares now virtually covers the day-to-day cost of running the railway compared to a £2bn operating deficit in the late 1990s.
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