Train at Platform is cancelled

The Daily Telegraph reports, Network Rail cash row threatens passenger improvements, with news that that the Office of Rail Regulation's cost cutting drive will force a £1 billion a year cut from the planned £6 billion a year building programme.

The Network Rail blueprint, drawn up with the assumption that the numbers of passengers will rise by 30 per cent over the next ten years, following a 40 per cent growth over the last decade would be under threat from this cost exercise.
A final decision on how much Network Rail will be allowed to spend will be made in October.

Demand for rail is now as high as in 1946. But a series of cuts since then has meant that the network itself is half as big as it was after the year. A 40 per cent growth in demand over the past decade has already left the industry struggling with an overcrowding crisis which, unless drastic action is taken, is likely to worsen.

Network Rail is concerned that planned schemes will be cut back if it is forced to make the savings. While the Birmingham New Street, Thameslink and Reading Station projects are safe, some of the schemes such as longer platforms to provide room for the extra train carriages pledged by the government might not be built.
This would be a real mistake for the West Midlands which would benefit, particularly on lines such as the Chase line to Hednesford, from increased capacity.

But it is understood that the ORR believes that Network Rail is capable of delivering all its schemes on a far tighter budget.

This certainly will be a concern of passengers who have seen delays on the West Coast Main Line at Rugby and at Liverpool Street Station from supposed improvements to the rail network.


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