Network rail unveils £45 Billion climate resilient plan - CILT(UK)
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Network rail unveils £45 Billion climate resilient plan

03 April 2024/Categories: Industry News, Active Travel & Travel Planning, Freight Forwarding, Logistics & Supply Chain, Rail

Network Rail has announced a £45 billion plan aimed at delivering an improved railway to cope with the extremes of climate change.

The network said they will invest £2.8 billion yearly over the next 5 years in activities and technology that will help it cope better with weather conditions to deliver a more reliable and better service.

Funding of £40.6 billion will be provided by the Department for Transport and £4.8 billion by Transport Scotland.

Andrew Haines, chief executive, said: “Delivering a better railway for passengers and freight users is at the heart of our new five-year investment plan.

“Tackling climate change, safely improving train performance, adapting and responding to changing commuter habits whilst managing an ageing infrastructure requires the whole industry to rally for the benefits of all rail users.

“Whilst there are challenges and opportunities ahead, our mission is constant - we’re here to connect people and goods with where they need to be. The railway is part of the fabric of our everyday lives and has been for generations.

“It provides essential services to society, underpinning economic growth and our plans will support that over the next five years – a period that will mark the railway’s bi-centenary.”

Spending of £19.3bn will be invested in renewals, £12.6bn on maintenance, support functions such as IT and timetabling will get 5.3bn and £4.4bn will be spent on operations such as signalling. There will also be a risk fund of £1.8bn for unforeseen events.

Investments include recruiting over 400 extra drainage engineers, hundreds of key staff will attend Network Rail's ‘weather academy to train as ‘amateur meteorologists’, more than 600,000 meters of drains will be built, there will be targeted repairs for 20,000 cuttings or embankments and CCTV will be installed at high-risk flooding sites to enable better and faster responses.

New technology such as GUSTO that uses topography to better predict windspeeds distinguishing valleys, trees and buildings will be introduced in addition to precise ‘real-time’ rainfall forecasting that will detail weather conditions every 500m.

Network Rail has said this new technology will allow trains to run at higher speeds during stormy weather and improve train service management.

Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “Our railways are at the heart of many people’s daily lives and getting us to where we need to be, whether that’s to family and friends, work, education or holiday destinations.

“That’s why the network must be fit for the future, with the resilience to handle extreme weather while offering the reliability and level of service our passengers deserve. I am confident the plan set out by Network Rail today will help keep our railways on track for the coming years.”



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