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  • Our plan for rail in Britain

  • Delivering a better railway

    With parts of the railway close to capacity and demand for passenger and freight services increasing, continuing investment and smarter working methods are essential to build a bigger, better and even safer railway.

    50 per cent more people travel by rail than in 2004 so in 2013 we set out 10 strategic themes, central to our plans for a better railway.

    We're investing £38bn over the next five years (2014 to 2019) to deliver more services and better journeys including lengthening platforms, untangling tracks, introducing electrification and building world-class stations.

    Read about our plans for 2014 to 2019 on our website Delivering a better railway for a better Britain.

  • Benefits

    We're focussed on four key benefits and every project delivers at least one of them.

    • Faster - we're reducing journey times by upgrading track layouts and signalling
    • More frequent - infrastructure improvements allow more trains to run every hour
    • Greener - we're electrifying lines to make train travel cleaner and greener; by increasing rail freight (which is 75 per cent greener than road freight) we're removing lorries from our roads
    • More comfortable - we're lengthening platforms to allow longer trains with more seats, and modernising stations to make your journey more comfortable

    Railway control systems

    By the end of 2019 we will have begun implementing the digitalised railway of the future that is compliant with European railway control systems.

    We aim to be near our goal of operating a 'right time' timetable which uses GPS (global positioning system) equipment on trains to make sure the right train is at the right place at the right time.

    Key projects timeline

  • Timeline showing years 2007-2020 with numeric references to projects 

    1. Nov 2007 - New St Pancras International station opened
    2. Dec 2008 - Major improvements to West Coast Main Line completed
    3. May 2011 - Olympic park transport links completed
    4. Dec 2011 - First longer trains run on Thameslink route
    5. Dec 2011 - New Tube station opens at Blackfriars 
    6. Spring 2012 - New concourse at King's Cross opens 
    7. Summer 2012 - Work at Blackfriars and Farringdon complete
    8. Autumn 2013 - King's Cross redevelopment complete
    9. Spring 2015 - Bottleneck around Reading completely removed
    10. Spring 2015 - Birmingham New Street station redevelopment complete
    11. Summer 2016 - EGIP completed (subject to funding)
    12. 2018 - Thameslink completed
    13. 2018 - Crossrail completed and into service
    14. 2020 - Great Western upgrade completed