Government announces £96B rail investment - CILT(UK)
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Government announces £96B rail investment

19 November 2021/Categories: CILT, Industry News, Rail


The biggest ever public investment in Britain’s rail network has been announced by the government, with £96 billion to deliver faster and better journeys to more people across the North and the Midlands.

 

Transforming connectivity, the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) will transform both east to west and north to south links, building 3 new high-speed lines, improving rail services to and between the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and the North West including:

  • Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) will connect Leeds and Manchester in 33 minutes, down from 55 minutes now
  • HS2 East will run direct from central Nottingham to Birmingham in 26 minutes, down from 1 hour 14 minutes now, and from central Nottingham to London in 57 minutes. HS2 will also run from London to Sheffield in 1 hour 27 minutes
  • HS2 West will run from London to Manchester in 1 hour 11 minutes and from Birmingham to Manchester in 41 to 51 minutes compared to 86 minutes today.

To most destinations on the HS2 and NPR core routes, both from London and across the Pennines, journey times will be the same as, similar to or faster than the previous proposals – with improvements being delivered for communities across the Midlands and North up to a decade sooner and to more places. 

 

Capacity on key routes will also double or treble under plans.

 

Under earlier plans, smaller towns on existing main lines such as Doncaster, Grantham, Huddersfield, Wakefield, and Leicester would have seen little improvement, and in some cases even their services cut back. 

 

The IRP will protect and improve these crucial links and will deliver improvements with far less disruption to local communities. 

 

And on both local train lines and inter-city links, rail passengers will benefit from tangible changes, seeing more seats, shorter journeys, and more frequent and more reliable services.

 

As well as the new high-speed lines, the IRP fully electrifies and upgrades 2 diesel main lines – the Midlands Main Line and the Transpennine Main Line – as well as upgrading a third main line – the East Coast – with higher speeds, power improvements and digital signalling to slash journey times.

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “My mission is to level up opportunity across our country, which is why we’re making train journeys faster and more reliable through the biggest ever public investment in our rail network.

 

“This is because better rail connections are essential for growing local economies and businesses, and our Integrated Rail Plan will deliver better services to more people, more quickly.

 

“Levelling up has to be for everyone, not just the biggest cities. That’s why we will transform transport links between our biggest cities and smaller towns, ensuring we improve both long-distance and vital local services and enabling people to move more freely across the country wherever they are.”

 

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