Record investment in Britain’s railways as Network Rail publishes its half-year results

21 November 2013  •  Author: Network Rail

New platforms, new lifts, new information systems, new concourses, new footbridges, new track; all have featured as record investment has been ploughed into Britain’s railways over the past six months.

Network Rail today published its half-year results (for the period 1 April to 30 September 2013) which revealed that £2.74bn, some £15m per day, was invested in improving and building a bigger, better railway – 33% up on the same period last year and 53% higher than just four years ago.

Patrick Butcher, group finance director, said: “The railway continues to experience tremendous growth and we are responding to that demand through the biggest sustained investment programme since Victorian times.

“With a million more trains and half a billion more passengers than 10 years ago our railways are all but full. We are squeezing all we can out of the existing network and new railway lines, such as HS2, must be built to deliver the step-change in capacity that Britain’s vital rail arteries need.”

Over the past six months some significant investment milestones have been reached, including:

  • New, bigger, better facilities have been delivered at King’s Cross as its £550m renovation and rebuilding nears completion providing a magnificent gateway to the north and sees a concourse three times the size of the old
  • Opening of the new concourse at Reading station as part of the ongoing £850m project to unblock one of Britain’s worst railway bottlenecks
  • The start of work to connect towns of the Scottish Borders to Edinburgh with the building of 30 miles of new railway – the £300m Borders Railway project
  • A more reliable and affordable railway for the people of Manchester, Liverpool and the North West as we continue with the £400m project to electrify railway in the region
  • More reliable and faster services delivered with the successful completion of the £100m resignalling and modernisation of Nottingham and its approaches
  • A major bottleneck on the East Coast Main Line has been removed with the completion of the £47m Hitchin flyover
  • Faster journeys for passengers along the Midland Main Line connecting Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby and other towns and cities to London as a result of a £70m improvement programme
  • Completion of the £10m scheme to modernise the railway between Shrewsbury and Wrexham

As well as these major milestones over 5,000 projects have been completed over the last four and a half years (since the start of our current funding period called CP4 – 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2014). These smaller, but just as important projects aimed at making incremental improvements to the railway for the benefit of passengers, and have seen:

  • Over 2,000 miles of track renewed
  • Improvements at over 500 stations across the country
  • Almost 200 lifts installed at stations
  • Over 140 platforms lengthened across London and the South East

Over the six months to 30 September:

  • Revenue remained static at £3.267bn (£3.167bn for same period, 2012)
  • Operating profit remained static at £1.199bn (£1.227bn last year)
  • Profit after tax was £870m (£563m last year. Increase owing to tax treatment and derivative gains)
  • Net debt stands at £30.611bn (slightly up from £30.358bn at year end)
  • Value of railway assets increase to £47.933bn (up from £46.411bn at year end)

Mr Butcher concluded: “We continue to invest record amounts to deliver a bigger, better railway for passengers and businesses across Britain. We are also driving down the cost of running Britain’s railway to help make it more affordable in the years ahead. Train performance is still at high levels by historical standards, but has fallen behind our targets as we struggle to get more and more out of an ever overloaded network.”

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