Your railway: journey upgrades

Your railway: journey upgrades

Published 30 March 2024 | Average read time
3 min read
Stories Putting passengers first

In the last five years, we’ve been hard at work to improve your connections and station experiences throughout Britain. 

It comes as we reach the end of our latest five-year budgeting and planning period, known in the rail industry as Control Period six.

What does it mean to improve our railway links for you? Take a look at just some of what we’ve delivered …

Better journeys

We came together with industry partners to build and open the Elizabeth Line in London. We even undertook major improvements at London Paddington and between London Liverpool Street and Stratford to prepare the new route. 

We improved the reliability of the West Coast Main Line by remodelling Carstairs Junction in South Lanarkshire. This also prepared the line for future demands between Glasgow and Edinburgh so more of you – and freight – can use this route.

We invested £1.5bn in upgrading the Midland Main Line. You can now enjoy 50% more peak-time seats from London to Corby and faster journeys between London and Derby, Leicester, Sheffield and Nottingham.

Network Rail engineers carry out wiring work on the Midland Main Line

Our teams in North Wales spent four years restoring the famous Grade II* listed Barmouth Viaduct. It’s now stronger for generations to come.

In Staffordshire’s Trent Valley, we replaced 2,000 metres of track and installed new signalling – improving your journeys ahead of the arrival of HS2.

The 10-year ThamesLink Programme improved tracks at Blackfriars and in and around London Bridge. It means that trains no longer need to slow down or stop at junctions to let other services pass. This allows more Thameslink services to travel through central London.

Our East Coast Upgrade included an overhaul of the track at London King’s Cross station to make more space for more trains – a once-in-a-generation overhaul. You can now enjoy faster, more frequent and more reliable journeys between London, the North of England and Scotland. 

Better signalling

In the West Midlands, we finished modernising signals for better journeys. This meant moving signalling from Birmingham New Street Power Box to a state-of-the-art signalling facility. Read about how we opened the power box to the public to celebrate its history here.

An old signalling panel at Feltham Area Signalling Centre reads 'goodbye, 1974 - 2023'.
A commemorative panel at Feltham Area Signalling Centre

The first phase of our East Coast route’s digital signalling switched on in London in a major milestone for innovation. This new technology will lead to more reliable, punctual and greener journeys.  

Meanwhile, the Feltham and Woking resignalling project gave you modern signalling across 80 miles of railway in Southern England.

These are just some of the improvements we’ve made to your journeys across Britain – for a safer, more reliable and modern railway. 

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