Railhub Library ::: document
London, 2015. 43pp charts maps
Network Rail’s plans for the five years between 2014-2019 (known as Control Period 5 or CP5) include major plans to upgrade the railway infrastructure. This will deliver additional capacity through more frequent train services and longer trains, as well as faster journey times. The enhancement programme will deliver the Government’s strategic objectives for the railway. They include completion of the Thameslink and Crossrail programmes, a significant volume of electrification, and investment in capacity particularly in the North of England, and a number of funds to support smaller investments. What is the current situation? Network Rail’s funding for enhancement projects in England & Wales to be delivered in CP5 was £11.8 billion (in 2012-13 prices). When funding for CP5 was finalised in October 2013 by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), a significant proportion of the enhancement portfolio was still in the very early stages of development. ORR recognised that the funding for these schemes could not be fixed at that stage of the process. It therefore introduced a process for further review during CP5 to agree updated cost estimates when programmes were sufficiently well developed. Any increases could have been met through Network Rail’s ability to use the contingency in the existing funding or further borrowing. In September 2014, Network Rail was reclassified as a public company. This restricted the ability to borrow more, which had been the historic means by which significant changes in expenditure on existing or new projects were funded. Network Rail now borrows direct from the Government with a defined borrowing limit for CP5. In early 2014, Network Rail had flagged to ORR and DfT that it had concerns about delivering the overall savings in ORR’s final determination for CP5. Since then, there have been further pressures on Network Rail’s core business plan, which have resulted in increased costs for operation, maintenance and renewal of the rail network. As a result, Network Rail’s total financing requirement was forecast to exceed the agreed borrowing limit for CP5. So, in June 2015, the Secretary of State for Transport announced that he had asked for a proposal for replanning Network Rail’s CP5 enhancements. The result should set out how the programme will be delivered in the coming years, recognising the Government’s commitment to the programme of rail investment. The review of the investment programme in England & Wales has been based on: • an assessment of the cost and deliverability of the enhancement programme; • a review of the core business plan, including options for asset disposals; leading to • an updated plan that can be managed within the borrowing limit.