Latest Rail News

21.03.18

West of England to get £9.45bn economic boost from new rail partnership plan

Rail companies across the west of England have set out a long-term plan for the region’s railway, which will boost the economy by £9.45bn.

The plan, called ‘In partnership for Britain’s prosperity - the west of England,’ sets out how a £2.4bn investment in operating, maintaining and renewing the Great Western main line between 2019-24 will enable new and improved services.

This is in addition to the existing upgrades to electrify the route, and around £500m of private investment in a brand new fleet of intercity trains which will increase the frequency, quality and speed of journeys.

People and businesses will be better connected to key economic hubs in the region and beyond to London, Wales, the Midlands, and the north.

The plan sees the partnership of public and private sector companies outline their commitments to improving services for customers, better connecting communities and providing employees with rewarding careers, as well as benefiting the region’s economy.

In order to deliver the plan’s commitment to boost communities through localised decision making and investment, the partnership railway will deliver an investment of £50m in stations and car parks to improve and enhance the gateways to towns.

Customer and Communities Funds from Great Western Railway and CrossCountry will invest £4.5m in projects to meet social needs and educate or engage local people, such as regenerating disused buildings.

More than 250 apprenticeships will be created by 2024, in addition to the apprenticeships created by rail businesses based across the west.

Russell Mears, chair of the freight group at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “By coming together with a plan to improve further, the west’s rail companies are committing to do even more for the economy, businesses and communities in the region, now and for the generations ahead.”

Mark Hopwood, managing director of Great Western Railway, explained: “The west’s railway, a partnership of the public and private sectors, is fundamental to the region’s prosperity, connecting workers to jobs, businesses to markets, and people to their families and friends.

“Working in partnership, the railway’s plan will spread growth to communities across the region and drive unprecedented improvements for our customers.

“All this adds up to a more secure and brighter future for people who work in rail.”

Managing director of CrossCountry, Andy Cooper, added: “The commitments in our plan - to the region’s economy, rail customers, communities and our people – set us on course to build on previous improvements and move forward together.

“Customers will benefit from simpler ticketing, more services and better value for money. We will transform our communities’ social and economic futures by enabling more people to benefit from the opportunities provided by rail.”

Mark Langman, route managing director for Network Rail’s western route, said: “The railway is a crucial piece of the region's infrastructure, moving the people and goods that power our economy faster and more efficiently, connecting businesses in the west of England to markets all over the world.

“By supporting our existing talent, moving forward as one team and encouraging new recruits with workforce training, we are securing a bright future for our employees and the communities in which they live and work.”

Top image: Joe Dunckley

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here

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 >