The plan focuses on key areas such as combatting climate change, improving train performance, prioritising passenger and freight user satisfaction, and furthering the sustainability of the railway.
With a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction, the plan is centred around delivering a more punctual and reliable railway system compared to the present state. To enhance the overall customer experience, Network Rail will undertake initiatives such as lift and escalator renewal, improved lighting, and enhanced passenger information systems to ensure personal security and safety.
A major highlight of the plan is the significant increase in investment dedicated to addressing climate change and fostering a resilient and sustainable railway, from which, not only passenger rail but also freight rail companies will benefit. The budget for climate change-related projects will increase, reaching EUR 1.84 billion. This investment will encompass initiatives such as earthworks and drainage renewals with specialised dedicated teams for this task, enhanced operational weather expertise, strategic investments in climate change adaptation, and continued support for the Weather Risk Taskforce.
The plan includes investments in technology and innovation, such as installing infrastructure monitoring equipment on trains, enabling remote monitoring without the need for employees to venture onto the tracks. Furthermore, an investment of EUR 2.1 billion will be allocated to next-generation signalling.
The investments also take freight rail into consideration, having “ambitious yet realistic” target of 7.5% growth across the network.