Putting passengers first isn’t all about delivering large-scale infrastructure projects and railway improvements.
It’s doing what we can to make journeys easier and more convenient for the millions of travellers who use the railway every day.
That’s why we’re working hard to implement a string of smaller initiatives that will have a big overall impact on the passenger experience.
Here’s a roundup of some of our work this month:
New trains, new services, more seats
We published our latest annual report and accounts, which shows the introduction of almost 3,000 new services a week.
The services, which came amid a record £7bn of rail investment in one year, are helping us meet increasing demand from passengers – we’re preparing for more than 6,000 new weekly services over the next few years.
Conwy Valley reopens early ahead of Welsh festival
We fully reopened the Conwy Valley line early to enable passengers to travel by rail to the popular National Eisteddfod festival in Llanrwst, Wales.
The line, which runs between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog, had closed in March following extensive damage caused by Storm Gareth.
The damage meant six miles of track, Dolgarrog station, 10 level crossings and nine culverts required significant repair.
Since the closure of the line, teams have removed washout materials, replaced ballast, refurbished level crossings, designed and installed flood culverts and constructed embankments, to safely restore the track.
Better in Birmingham
A £1.7 million-pound refurbishment of Longbridge station is providing a better railway for passengers in Birmingham.
We have totally changed the outside of the station with a new entrance, glazed roof and cladding. Inside, we have built a larger concourse, ticket office and accessible toilet.
Combined, they provide a bright, modern transport hub for an area benefitting from new business, leisure and housing developments.
Access for All in Manchester
A multi-million-pound project to improve accessibility for passengers kicked off at Mills Hill station in Greater Manchester.
The investment, as part of the Government’s ‘Access for All’ scheme, will include a new ramp on the Manchester-bound platform and a new lift and staircase on the Rochdale-bound side.
This will help customers with reduced mobility, families with prams and those carrying heavy luggage.
Inclusive Transport Strategy
We marked a year since the Department for Transport launched its strategy to improve access for disabled passengers.
The Inclusive Transport Strategy (ITS): Achieving Equal Access for Disabled People seeks to give disabled people the same access to transport as everyone else.
It aims to enable them to travel easily, confidently and without extra cost – something we’re working hard to support across the railway.
We’ve launched a range of initiatives as part of the Access for All programme, which will provide obstacle-free, accessible routes to and between platforms.
More than £300m will back the Access for All programme over the next five years.
We advised passengers to look out for assisted travel teams in purple at four of our busiest railway stations.
Specialist staff at London Euston, Birmingham New Street, Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime Street stations have become the first in the country to wear purple – the international colour for disability.
Assisted travel is offered to all passengers who need help getting between trains and the station concourse.
The news follows the opening of a dedicated assisted travel lounge at Birmingham New Street station in June.
The lounge comes after a £175,000 investment by Network Rail and helps passengers who need help to get on and off trains.
We installed 150 more seats on and around the concourse at Manchester Piccadilly after recent passenger surveys indicated there were not enough at the station.
Our teams take a summer holiday to minimise impact on Devon
We decided to pause work on a sea wall at Dawlish in Devon until September to minimise the impact on tourism and the community during the peak summer period.
The upgrade, which will provide greater protection to the railway and town from rising sea levels and extreme weather for generations to come, started in June this year but will now take a summer break until 9 September.
Once complete, the new sea wall will be 2.5m higher than the existing wall, have a curved edge to send waves back towards the sea and have a wider safer promenade with seating which will keep the clear views of the coast that the existing wall has.