As part of its announcement of its five-year plan for Control Period 7 (CP7), Network Rail has revealed its plans for the Wales and Western region within that timeframe.
Within the plan, Network Rail expect to invest £5.2 billion into the region, including £3.3 billion into the Western route, which runs from London Paddington to South Wales.
Across the country, Control Period 7 will be focused on freight, passengers and a renewed focus on tackling climate change.
The more detailed plan for the western region includes:
- Planning a punctual and reliable railway and improving passenger and freight customer experience
- Recognising the need to improve performance over the remainder of CP6 and giving passengers and freight users the highest level of train performance possible in CP7
- Improve timetabling, enhancing operations capability and working closely with industry partners to deliver train service performance
- Enhancing traffic management, incident management and driver advisory systems so signallers can drive better and safer performance
Key upgrades and renewals are also planned at multiple stations within the region. These include making the track more reliable at Westbury and between Gloucester and Exeter and renewing lifts at Swindon and Bristol Temple Meads.
Also within the plan, improvements are planned to St Philips Marsh train depot in Bristol and installing platform lighting improvements in the Bristol area.
Finally, Network Rail are planning footbridge refurbishments at Nailsea & Backwell, Weston-Super-Mare, Yatton, Bridgwater and Warminster.
In the Devon and Cornwall region, critical renewal work will be undertaken to extend the life of signalling equipment in West Cornwall, alongside lift renewals at Exeter St Davids and Plymouth stations.
CP7 will also see a drive towards tackling climate change and Network Rail plan to double investment – to £73m for the Wales and Western region to tackle climate change.
In order to achieve the goal, Network Rail has ringfenced investment in earthworks and drainage renewals alongside the creation of dedicated earthworks and drainage teams. They also confirmed that they will continue to invest in the Weather Risk Taskforce.
Network Rail’s Wales and Western managing director Michelle Handforth said: “We are undertaking significant work over the next five years to provide a greater railway for the Wales and Western region.
“We are creating and operating a lifeline railway for the communities we serve, which are a catalyst for socioeconomic growth, and are working hard to decarbonise so that we’re the greenest way to travel and do business.
“We are striving to fulfil our purpose with an innovative mindset, challenging ourselves to continuously improve, to deliver a better, safer and more cost-effective business.”
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