Investing in London

The railway is crucial to the economic prosperity of London, enabling it to be one of the most important and influential world cities. It enables economic growth, jobs and housing. 

But London’s rail network is facing a capacity crunch. At the busiest times, some parts of the network have no space to run more trains. Trains are overcrowded. Continued investment in increasing rail capacity and providing rapid connections is essential for both London and Britain's economy.

The capacity challenge for London

To deal with this we are in the midst of the biggest investment plan since Victorian times - our Railway Upgrade Plan to 2019. It is creating major new connections, transforming stations, allowing more seats on more frequent trains and improving reliability.

What we've already delivered:

  • King's Cross Station – landmark redevelopment with more space and better facilities
  • Farringdon Station – major upgrade for longer trains, a new ticket hall, connection between Thameslink and Crossrail
  • Blackfriars Station – first station to span the river, longer platforms for longer trains
  • London Overground – north London line upgraded to allow more train services and linked with extended east and west lines to create an orbital line (with TfL)
  • Oxford to Marylebone – new spur line with extra services and refurbished trains
  • Longer platforms for longer trains on the southeastern and south networks
  • Accessibility improvements at 45 London stations including Clapham Junction, Wembley Central, Putney, Denmark Hill and East Croydon.

...and more benefits for London to come


Benefits at a glance

Click on the map to download a PDF providing an at a glance view of the benefits we've delivered so far, as well as what we're going to be delivering up to 2019. With a handy key, its designed to make it easy to see the immediate and longer term benefits to passenger services across the capital.


Delivered by 2019:

  • Waterloo and South West Upgrade (2017-18) – a bigger Waterloo, with longer platforms for longer trains at Waterloo and stations on the South West network, new trains
  • Thameslink (2018) – a north-south connection with longer trains every 2-3 minutes through central London.
  • New London Bridge Station with a concourse bigger than the Wembley pitch, new entrances and through platforms
  • Elizabeth Line/Crossrail (2019) – an east-west line boosting capacity by 10 per cent, 1.5 million extra people within 45 minutes of central London
  • Reliability improvements on the Great Eastern Main Line, Brighton Main Line and northern Thameslink.


Crossrail is the biggest civil construction project in Europe today.

When the Elizabeth line opens fully in 2019, 1.5 million more people will be able to get to central London within 45 minutes.

It will link Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, via new 21km tunnels under central London. This will increase London’s rail capacity and cut passenger journey times across the city.

Find out more

The Thameslink Programme

The government-sponsored Thameslink Programme is transforming north-south travel through London.

When the project is completed in 2018, journeys on some of the busiest routes in the country will be improved, with new spacious trains every two to three minutes through central London at peak times helping us meet the huge rise in demand for train travel.

Find out more



Building a better Waterloo

There are more than 230 million passenger journeys on the railway to and from London Waterloo every year – an increase of over 100 per cent in 20 years. Investment will transform the station and improve passenger services.

In August 2017 a huge programme of works was completed to allow longer trains to serve suburban routes and Reading. This was achieved by providing extended platforms and redesigning the track layout to allow more trains every hour with new technology to make trains more efficient and improve punctuality.

Find out more