UK govt announces £2bn funding to upgrade rail network in Wales and Borders
November 20, 2018 – The UK government has announced a £2bn funding for Network Rail in Wales and Borders to upgrade the network to improve safety of passengers and ensure reliable transportation for passengers and freight customers.
The plan, developed by and for Network Rail Wales and Borders for the first time, represents a 28% increase when compared with the figure for the last five-year funding period (2014-2019).
The funding will be spent between 2019 and 2024 to maintain and renew the existing infrastructure, which will reduce delays and improve reliability for the passengers.
This investment will support Transport for Wales’ investment of £5bn over 15 years, under which new trains will be introduced, stations will be upgraded and capacity will be increased across the network.
Network Rail Wales and Borders route managing director Bill Kelly said: “This is fantastic news for Wales and Borders at a time when we are seeing unprecedented levels of investment in the railway.
“We’ve put passengers and our freight customers first in developing our five-year plan, which will make the railway safer and more reliable for the thousands of customers who use it every day.
“This record funding, together with the significant investment planned by our partners Transport for Wales, represents a truly once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform rail services for the people of Wales and Borders.”
Maintenance and renewal work to be carried out in the next five years includes renewing or refurbishing 398km of track; bridge renewals; earthworks to improve the resilience of the railway in extreme weather; signalling renewals, such as the Port Talbot re-signalling scheme; renewing the iconic Grade II listed Barmouth viaduct; and renewing the pumps at Sudbrook pumping station, which pumps water from the Severn Tunnel.
Transport for Wales CEO James Price said: “We want the new rail service to lead to a significant improvement in people’s views and experiences of public transport in Wales and working closely with our partners is key to achieving this.
“We look forward to working with Network Rail to deliver the best possible service for customers, including importantly through increasing capacity and reliability.”