£2 billion plan to provide a better railway in Wales and Borders confirmed
Network Rail in Wales and Borders is set to benefit from a record £2 billion, to provide a safer and more reliable railway for passengers and freight customers.
For the first time, the Wales and Borders funding plan has been developed by and for Network Rail Wales and Borders, and represents a 28 per cent increase on the figure for the last five-year funding period (2014-2019).
The UK government funding will be spent between 2019 and 2024 to maintain and renew the existing infrastructure, meaning fewer delays and improved reliability for the growing number of passengers.
It will support Transport for Wales’ significant investment of £5 billion over 15 years, which will see new trains, improved stations and increased capacity across the network.
Bill Kelly, Route Managing Director for Network Rail Wales and Borders, 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.”
The Wales and Borders route budget is set out in the Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) final determination. This confirms what Network Rail will spend to provide a safe, reliable and efficient railway and is a result of regular engagement with stakeholders across the route.
James Price, Chief Executive Officer, Transport for Wales, 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.”
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; renewing the iconic Grade II listed Barmouth viaduct; and renewing the pumps at Sudbrook pumping station.