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  • Fulfilling our vision

    We aim to provide a safe, reliable and efficient railway

  • Today more people travel by rail than at any point since the 1920s, when the rail network was around twice its current size.

    Every year 1.3 billion journeys are made on Britain’s railway and 100 million tonnes of freight is transported by rail between ports, factories and shops.

    A million more trains run every year than just five years ago but the increasing popularity of rail means that, at peak times, there is no space for more trains on the busiest parts of the network.

    Despite this, demand is still increasing. Over the next 30 years passenger demand for rail will more than double and freight demand is expected to go up by 140%.

    To find out more, download our booklet Britain relies on rail (PDF 1 MB).

    How we will achieve our aim

    We’re improving the rail network, providing faster, more frequent and more reliable journeys between Britain’s towns and cities. This is bringing people and businesses closer together, making Britain more competitive and a better place to do business.

    This brings wider benefits to the economy; rail investment stimulates private sector growth, and we are investing in our workforce and introducing new technologies.

    When we took over the railway network in October 2002, we inherited an infrastructure that had been starved of investment for many years. There are around 35,000 of us at Network Rail who are working hard day and night to improve every aspect of the railway. We have made enormous progress. Under our stewardship, the railway is already safer, more reliable and more efficient.

    See how we are focusing on improving the safety.

  • Reducing delays

    Since we took over responsibility for the rail infrastructure in 2002, we've reduced delay minutes from 14.72 million per year to 7.4 million.

    Delay minutes (millions) 2002/03 - 14.72
    2003/04 - 13.72
    2004/05 - 11.43
    2005/06 - 10.05
    2006/07 - 10.05
    2007/08 - 9.5
    2008/09 - 8.9
    2009/10 - 6.7
    2010/11 - 7.4

  • Our plans for rail

    Our Delivery Plan for 2009 - 2014 details a £10 billion programme of investment in the railway.

    Our Route Utilisation Strategies (RUS) take an in depth look at different parts of the country to grow the rail network where demand requires.

    Planning Ahead is a series of documents that sets out a vision for the railway in thirty or forty years.