Network Rail’s Anglia route has set out its plan to invest more than £2 billion to enable more trains, faster services and better connections, while maintaining the performance, resilience and reliability of the rail network across the region in the five years from 2019-2024.
The publication of the Strategic Business Plan (SBP) is a major milestone in the ongoing process to determine Network Rail’s funding requirements for the five years to 2024 (Control Period 6, CP6). The plan represents Network Rail’s initial, but detailed view, following 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 now review the plan and make a draft determination of Network Rail’s funding needs in June, and a final determination in the autumn.
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, 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.”
A more reliable railway:
Running more trains over the next few years will put greater demands on the network and the proposals outlined in the plan aim to deliver these additional services while maintaining a safe and efficient railway for the millions of people who rely on it.
An efficient railway:
The plan includes over £2 billion to operate, maintain and renew the railway during this period. This covers over £400 million to improve the condition of our track; a further £70m+ to refurbish the overhead line equipment on the lines out of Fenchurch Street; and key resignalling projects at Cambridge and Clacton.
An expanding railway:
Network Rail will also work with Greater Anglia to help introduce 1,000 new carriages and reduce travel times between London and Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich.
Forecasts show that, between 2013-23, demand for rail travel on the Great Eastern Main Line into Liverpool Street will grow significantly as will demand on the West Anglia Main Line, which runs from Cambridge to Liverpool Street. Freight demand is also expected to grow.
In CP6 we will complete the delivery of important enhancements, including the Lee Valley Rail Programme, Thameslink, and supporting the introduction of the Elizabeth Line. Other projects to further enhance the railway would require additional funding and will be developed on a case-by-case basis and developed to a mature level before seeking funding.
A safer railway:
Network Rail also aims to further develop its strong track record of improving passenger safety through better inspection techniques and better asset management. Our plan sets out how we will manage our moral and ethical responsibility to our staff and communities by reducing staff injuries and improving worker behaviour.