Network Rail has published a Strategic Business Plan (SBP) to invest more than £2bn in the Anglia route to enable more trains, faster services and better connections in the five years from 2019–2024.
The plan also includes measures to maintain the performance, resilience and reliability of the rail network across the region.
The publication of the SBP is a major step in the process to determine funding requirements of Network Rail for the five years to 2024, called Control Period 6 (CP6).
The SBP represents the initial view of Network Rail after the publication of governments’ (England & Wales and Scotland) high-level output specifications (HLOS) and statements of funds available (SoFA).
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) will review the plan and make a draft determination of Network Rail’s funding needs in June, and a final determination in the autumn.
The proposals aim to deliver additional services while maintaining a safe and efficient railway for the millions of people who rely on it.
The plan includes more than £2bn for operating, maintaining and renewing the railway during this period.
This includes more than £400m to improve the condition of the track; over £70m to refurbish the overhead line equipment on the lines out of Fenchurch Street; and key re-signalling projects at Cambridge and Clacton.
According to the plan, Network Rail will work with Greater Anglia to help introduce 1,000 new carriages and reduce travel times between London and Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich.
In CP6, Network Rail will complete important enhancements, including the Lee Valley Rail Programme, Thameslink, and supporting the introduction of the Elizabeth Line.
Network Rail also aims to further improve passenger safety through better inspection techniques and better asset management.
Network Rail route managing director for Anglia Meliha Duymaz said: “Investment in rail is critical to powering economic growth with more trains, faster services and better connections which is a key part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.
“This also means greater demand on the network as we address the challenge of running more services while maintaining performance and reliability, which we know is what is most important to passengers.”