Climate change

We prepare for the weather’s impact on our network by forecasting it daily and understanding the projected effects of climate change.

Weather: the challenges we face

More frequent and more extreme weather conditions caused by climate change will impact our ability to run the railway safely and on time. 

For example, heavy rainfall can lead to flooding, stop trains from running, and damage railway infrastructure, causing months of costly repairs. Flooding can lead to landslips, which tend to affect large areas and need substantial engineering work to make the railway safe again. These impacts cause delays and have a negative impact on our performance.

We want passengers and freight to get where they need to be so we can keep connecting communities and businesses and supporting the UK economy. Our ambition is to have prepared the railway infrastructure to minimise the impacts of climate change by 2050.

Making the railway more resilient to extreme weather


Update our policies to reflect future climate change predictions and review how critical and vulnerable our assets are to climate change across the network.


Agree the level of service in extreme weather conditions with Government and regulators.


Regions to develop long-term strategies to adapt to extreme weather conditions and identify the level of investment required for different scenarios.

Planning for climate change

Climate change is often viewed as a future problem. However, it’s already causing more frequent and more severe extreme weather events and we are experiencing its impact.

Our Weather Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (WRCCA) has been in place since 2017, and we are making good progress identifying and managing key risks and areas of vulnerability across the Network Rail Regions.

See our Climate Change Adaptation page for more information on how we are adapting to the impacts of climate change including Route WRCCA plans.

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