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Sat April 13 2024

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£45bn rail improvements start today

3 Apr Today, 3rd April 2024, is the start of Network Rail’s Control Period 7 (CP7).

A landslip near Church Lawford in February closed the rail line between Rugby and Coventry for two days
A landslip near Church Lawford in February closed the rail line between Rugby and Coventry for two days

As per its agreement with the rail industry regulator, the Office of Rail & Road, Network Rail will spend £45.4bn on Britain’s rail network over the next five years.

Over the course of CP7 Network Rail will spend:

  • £19.3bn on renewals
  • £12.6bn on maintenance
  • £5.3bn on support functions (safety & standards, timetabling, IT, HR)
  • £4.4bn on operations (signalling, stations, network controls).

The remaining £1.8bn is a contingency fund to cope with unforeseen events.

In real terms (at 2023/24 prices), the CP7 plan for England, Wales and Scotland amounts to £42.8bn compared to £43bn in CP6.

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Over the five years to 2029, Network Rail will invest around £2.8bn in activities and technology that will help it better cope with extreme weather and climate change, including a big push on improving drainage. Nearly 400 extra drainage engineers are being recruited and 600 km of drains will be built or rebuilt, redesigned or see increased maintenance,

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “Delivering a better railway for passengers and freight users is at the heart of our new five-year investment plan. Tackling climate change, safely improving train performance, adapting and responding to changing commuter habits whilst managing an ageing infrastructure requires the whole industry to rally for the benefits of all rail users.

“Whilst there are challenges and opportunities ahead, our mission is constant – we’re here to connect people and goods with where they need to be. The railway is part of the fabric of our everyday lives and has been for generations. It provides essential services to society, underpinning economic growth and our plans will support that over the next five years – a period that will mark the railway’s bi-centenary.”

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