UK-based rail infrastructure manager Network Rail has unveiled a £47bn, five-year plan to support economic growth, generate jobs and improve railway services in the country.
The strategic business plan (SBP) will determine Network Rail’s funding needs for the five years to 2024 (control period 6 (CP6)).
The SBP includes Network Rail’s planned expenditure on operations, maintenance and renewals, and it would be increased by 25% compared to CP5, which is the current five year funding period (2014-2019).
Under the five-year plan, Network Rail will partner with train operating companies to reduce delay of trains by at least 15%.
Over the five-year period, Network Rail will spend up to £47bn to replace conventional resignalling with digital train control that will allow operating more services.
As part of the current five year funding period, Network Rail will add 6,400 more train services per week by 2021. The latest plan will allow Network Rail to invest in further projects to increase the capacity of rail network.
The SBP also covers targets for the environment, including reduction in energy consumption by 18%, carbon emissions by 25% and mental health absence by 30%. It also aims to increase the women employees by 50%.
Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: “Passengers journeys will be transformed in the next few years as thousands of new trains enter service.
“By 2021 there will be almost 350,000 more services per year than today – an average of an extra 1,000 services a day, better connecting communities and driving economic growth across the country.
“This plan builds on these improvements and sets out how we will make the railway more reliable and cost efficient and how we accelerate the technological transformation of our railway into the digital age.”
Carne concluded: “For the next five years we need to relentlessly focus on making our railway more reliable while also ushering in new digital technology that with help to transform our railway in the years ahead.”