South West Trains
Network Rail sets out plans for a better railway in south and south west England
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Network Rail sets out plans for a better railway in south and south west England
type Press release
Network Rail today committed to continuing the biggest investment in infrastructure since the Victorian era, reducing costs and delivering more passengers on time than ever before – but also warned that tough decisions need to be made if the industry is to meet these competing challenges.
Network Rail’s strategic business plan for Wessex, which covers the route from London Waterloo to the south and south west of England, has been submitted to the Office of Rail Regulation and sets out proposals which will help drive local, regional and national economies and help make the railway one of the most efficient in Europe.
Investment and improvements on the Wessex route will contribute to Network Rail’s plan to enhance the capacity and capability of the railway in London and the south and south west of England and, working with all train operators on all routes into the capital, will contribute to delivering 20% more seats during peak morning hours into London.
In numbers that means there will be 539,300 seats into London across all routes during peak morning hours in 2014 but by 2019 there will be an extra 115,000, bringing the total up to 654,300.
The Wessex strategic business plan covers the period from 2014 to 2019 (known as control period 5 or CP5) and maps out a programme of investment and projects designed to maintain and improve an ageing infrastructure while reducing the cost of running the rail network.
It is one of a number of strategic business plans that Network Rail is required to produce by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) as part of its funding decision making process. The plan will be implemented by the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance.
Nationally, one million more trains run every year than ten years ago, more passengers arrive on time than ever before and Network Rail's safety record is one of the best in Europe.
On the Wessex route, more trains run today than ever before. In April 2004 South West Trains ran 43,600 trains over four weeks. In April 2012, it ran 45,646 trains all of which put added pressure on the infrastructure.
To address this continuing increase in train movements, £1.025bn will be spent on the infrastructure across the south and south west of England between 2014 and 2019 to make it more reliable and able to cope with the continued increase in use.
Tim Shoveller, managing director for the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance, has warned that despite the large investment which will deliver huge benefits to passengers by the end of CP5 in 2019, there will have to be trade-offs to deliver them.
He said: “The route out of London Waterloo across the south and south west of England is one of the busiest in Europe, with Waterloo station alone handling around 100m passengers per year - a figure which will only rise in the years to come.
“More passengers create a need for more trains which places an even greater demand on an aging infrastructure which is 175 years old in parts. We will be investing heavily in increasing the network’s resilience and reliability and doing everything we can to be able to provide a railway which can accommodate the extra trains needed to cope with growing demand.
“Despite the large investment which will deliver huge benefits to passengers through to 2019, there will have to be trade-offs to deliver them. As passenger and train numbers rise, the number of challenges increase and it becomes more complex than ever to run a reliable and cost-effective railway. As a result, we have entered an era of trade-offs and will increasingly have to balance the need to build and renew more infrastructure, run trains on time and reduce costs.
“The huge growth in the demand for rail services since privatisation is set to continue. As the network becomes increasingly full, particularly during peak periods, the rail industry must be able to make balanced and evidence-based choices between providing increased capacity, improving punctuality and driving down costs. The end result will be a better railway for everyone which will continue to encourage economic growth across the south and south west of England.”
As part of the £1bn+ investment, a total of £247.5m will be spent on track renewals; £273.9m on signalling enhancements; £182m on bridges, tunnels, major structures, culverts, footbridges and earthworks; £127.4m on building improvements; £87.6m on electrification; £32.7m on telecommunications; and £23.3m on plant and machinery.
This investment includes:
• a £140m signalling renewal scheme in south west London between Richmond, Chiswick and Norbiton and Chertsey, Frimley and Bracknell, to be controlled by the new signalling centre at Basingstoke
• a £26m signalling renewal scheme between Yeovil Pen Mill and Castle Cary Junction to be controlled by the new signalling centre at Basingstoke
• a £25m signalling renewal scheme on the Portsmouth line
• up to £30m track renewals in the Southampton area
• a £40m power supply upgrade for 10 car trains to run to Reading
• 43 miles of track renewal and refurbishment between Worting Junction and Southampton
• Track renewal between Queenstown Road and London Waterloo
• Track renewal between Worting Junction and Salisbury
• Track renewals and refurbishment in the Staines area
• Earthworks to improve performance of cuttings at Honiton, Crewkerne and Gillingham during heavy rainfall.
A £300m investment is proposed to increase capacity into London Waterloo in CP5 as part of a longer term enhancement programme that will deliver significant capacity improvements into CP6 and beyond. During CP5, improvements will focus on suburban routes into London with platform extensions to accommodate longer 10 car trains and the integration of the former Waterloo International terminal and its platforms to increase capacity within the station.
Track layout changes will also take place and ongoing maintenance and investment regarding track and signalling on the approach to London Waterloo will further improve the reliability of the infrastructure.
Wessex will also benefit from investment to future-proof critical infrastructure against the impact of changing weather patterns including more frequent flooding. Also, a major resignalling project will take place in the Feltham area to replace aging equipment and make the infrastructure more reliable.
As part of Network Rail’s modernisation of the country’s railway signalling system, a new £50m route operating centre in Basingstoke will become fully operational in CP5. The state-of-the-art facility will eventually control all signalling across the Wessex route and will contribute to a £250m annual saving across the railway in signalling costs.
Notes to editors:
Network Rail’s five-year strategic business plan, covering the period from 2014 to 2019 (known as control period five, or CP5), maps out a programme of projects designed to maintain and improve an ageing infrastructure and schemes to reduce the cost of running the rail network. By 2019, the plan will deliver a railway that:
• Moves 225m more passengers per year and carries 355,000 more trains – the highest numbers ever seen on Britain’s railways
• Provides 20% extra morning peak seats into central London and 32% into large regional cities in England and Wales
• Delivers a step change in connectivity between regional centres e.g. 700 more trains a day linking key northern cities and a ten minute reduction in journey time between Manchester and Leeds
• Carries 30% more freight than today
• Maintains record levels of performance, with expected PPM (public performance measure) of 92.5% by the end of CP5
• Is future-proofing critical infrastructure such as 30,000 bridges, embankments and tunnels against the impact of changing weather patterns, including flooding
• Has cut CO2 emissions per passenger by 37% – the equivalent of one million lorries off of our congested roads – and has hundreds of miles more electrified railway
• Is the safest in Europe, reducing risk at level crossings by 8% in CP5
• Continues to modernise antiquated signalling equipment as part of a plan to move away from over 800 signal boxes to 14 major operations centres, allowing us to run more trains closer together, safely and reliably
• Is more efficient, reducing the cost of running Britain’s railways by a further 18% and cutting annual public subsidy to between £2.6bn and £2.9bn in 2019 – down from £4.5bn in 2009 and £7bn in 2004
The Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance runs and maintains all aspects of the railway on the Wessex route out of London Waterloo. A single senior joint management team has responsibility for both trains and track across the south and south west of England and is designed to deliver better rail services for passengers whilst helping to reduce the cost of the railway to the taxpayer.
Nationally the railway carries almost 50% more passengers than it did 10 years ago: 2002/03 - 976m passengers; 2011/12 - 1.46bn passengers.
The strategic business plan is a response to the government's announcement in the summer of 2012 outlining what they require the railway to deliver in 2014-2019.
June 2013: ORR publishes its draft determination on Network Rail's strategic business plan and how much money it thinks Network Rail needs to deliver what's required in CP5
October 2013: ORR publishes its final determination
March 2014: Network Rail's CP5 delivery plan published
1 April 2014: CP5 starts
Railhub Archive ::: 2013-01-08 SWT-001