More trains

Britain is running out of space for the trains it needs

With the fastest growing network in Europe, Britain’s railway carries twice as many passengers as it did just two decades ago.

If passenger growth in the next twenty years matches growth in the last, there will be a billion extra journeys by 2030. At the same time, the network needs more space for freight trains, which shift £30bn of goods annually with a 76% Carbon Dioxide saving over road alternatives.

A cross-industry programme

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  • London will need nearly 50% more capacity by 2043 than it has today- equivalent to 180,000 seats and standing places.
  • Even with schemes including Crossrail and Thameslink demand for seats will increasingly outstrip supply from 2020
  • By 2043, approximately 80,000 additional seats and standing spaces will be needed over and above existing plans – equivalent to increasing current London rail journeys by 20 per cent

  • London will need nearly 50% more capacity by 2043 than it has today- equivalent to 180,000 seats and standing places.
  • Even with schemes including Crossrail and Thameslink demand for seats will increasingly outstrip supply from 2020
  • By 2043, approximately 80,000 additional seats and standing spaces will be needed over and above existing plans – equivalent to increasing current London rail journeys by 20 per cent

Traditional options like building new tracks or extending trains and platforms will not on their own deliver the space for extra trains we need.

The ever increasing demand can only be met by combining improvement and expansion works with solutions that release capacity from the network we already have.

Digital railway offers capacity and performance improvements sooner and at lower cost than conventional only enhancements and avoids disruptive conventional works. Analysis shows that targeted digital modernisation on the national rail network offers compelling benefits. For example, On the key South West Main Line, this means 30,000 extra peak time seats delivered four years earlier than the next best option. This is an increase of 11 trains an hour at peak time, which could rise to 18 trains an hour if combined with Crossrail 2.