lne hitchin flyover night shot

Our Railway Upgrade Plan

The railway in Britain is the safest, and one of the most reliable, railways in Europe. It’s also the fastest growing – and needs substantial improvements to continue its great success story

Passenger numbers have doubled in the last 20 years – this is more than the current infrastructure was ever designed for. That number’s set to double again in the next 25 years.

In many parts of the country demand continues to outstrip supply, with too many trains trying to use the same piece of track.

That’s where our plan comes in: the most ambitious modernisation programme since the Victorian era.

Download some of the numbers and upcoming improvements as a printable PDF.

Railway Upgrade Plan - Update 2017

In our 2017 update, you can find out about the major projects we will be completing in the year ahead that will allow for more trains, longer trains and faster journeys in different parts of Britain. Visit our update page, or download the full report.


Key projects

Some of the biggest projects we’re working on

Digital Railway

Our role in an industry-wide programme for digital modernisation

Safety in our Railway Upgrade Plan

Safety is at the heart of any new project or programme of work - and the first thing we consider before starting any works

Our Railway Upgrade Plan is our strategy to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience.

Delivering a better railway

Beginning in 2014 and continuing through to 2019, the Railway Upgrade Plan is our response to the tremendous growth of Britain’s railway. It’s a comprehensive programme of improvements to provide more capacity on the rail network and relieve crowding and congestion.

The key benefits include longer, faster, more frequent trains; a better, more reliable infrastructure; and better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

Some of the projects include major national schemes of work , such as electrification or station improvements, yet we’re also delivering targeted local improvements for communities across Britain.

We’re also looking at solutions beyond building new infrastructure. As part of the cross-industry Digital Railway programme we’re bringing in smart systems to unlock more capacity on the network.

Whatever the size and scale of what we do, we deliver it with safety at its core and as part of our vision for a railway that’s accessible, convenient and welcoming to as many people as possible, providing a seamless journey that accounts for everyone’s needs.

Network Rail is also changing to make sure we’re able to deliver the upgrade plan to a high standard, deal with the challenges of the future and are 'Delivering for our customers.'

Making a difference

We’re working on a network which is carrying more trains and passengers than ever before. It isn’t easy and it will take time, with some passengers experiencing disruption at times.

But the end result will see a much better service for all those who use the railway. It’s not just about more rails, trains, signals and stations. Investing in your railway is about making a real difference to people’s lives – a better railway for a better Britain.

Key benefits include longer, faster more frequent trains; a better, more reliable infrastructure; and better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.