Latest Rail News

16.07.12

Rail investment plans set ‘tough targets’ for industry – Higgins

Industry professionals have welcomed the Government’s £9bn investment in rail, as detailed in the High Level Output Specification (HLOS), published today.

But they have recognised the challenge achieving these specifications presents to the industry. 

RIA director general Jeremy Candfield said: “It will bring great benefits to the travelling public, freight hauliers and the nation as a whole”. He particularly welcomed the “central role” given to the programme of electrification announced. 

Concerning approval for the Northern Hub, Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee, said the investments would “change the face of rail services in the North of England in a manner that has not been seen for several generations” and described the programme as a “catalyst” for economic growth. 

“This really is a fantastic day,” he added. 

Network Rail chief executive David Higgins admitted that there are “tough targets” set by the Government, made even more challenging with the need to deliver record numbers of services on “essentially Victorian infrastructure”, but called the investment “not only welcome, but essential”. 

And chairman of the Rail Delivery Group, Tim O’Toole of FirstGroup, welcomed the announcement, but warned: “The extensive investment programme is a massive boost for rail but with it comes an expectation that the rail industry will improve its efficiency and value for money.

“Achieving fundamental improvements in efficiency whilst delivering the major investment programme outlined in the High Level Output Specification is a significant task for the industry.” 

Michael Roberts, chief executive of ATOC said: “This announcement is good for the economy and the environment.” 

On the contentious issue of how the investments will be funded, he added: “The planned investment will be paid for jointly by taxpayers and passengers.” 

More trains arriving on time and reduced overcrowding were highlighted as key investments by Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith. However, he also voiced concern regarding value for money in the next control period.

Smith said: “Passengers will want to see the Government avoid above-inflation fare increases. These investments must be delivered in a cost-effective way.”

Maggie Simpson, RFG policy manager said: “This package of investment will support future growth and enable freight operators and customers to develop ever more efficient and innovative services.” 

And the ORR stated: “We now need to ensure that the plan is affordable.” It added that achieving the best possible value for money was “fundamental”. 

RMT general secretary Bob Crow claimed that the projects had been discussed for years and that the industry could not afford further delays. He said: “What we need is investment in rail today not yet another political promise of jam tomorrow.”

Vernon Barker, managing director of First UK Rail division commented: “This is an unprecedented level of investment in the rail network and will do much to increase capacity and reliability.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >
TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

12/06/2019TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

TfL has awarded a contract for 43 new trains to replace the oldest rolling stock on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), with the first scheduled t... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >