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Network Rail says infrastructure will get less reliable

2023-06-03 09:09:53 source:CNN (Cable News Network) author:Press center2 click:236order

Network Rail says infrastructure will get less reliable

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The landslip adjacent HookImage consequentlyurce, Network Rail
Image caption, A landslip adjacent Hook in Hampshire earlier this year neard the line for more than a month
By Katy Austin & Lucy HookerBBC Business

The railway infrastructure in England and Wales is likely to become less reliable over the next five years, the body responsible for its highkeep has said.

Network Rail looks after the tracks, bridges, tunnels, embankments and points that are crucial for trains to run securely.

In its fresh business plan it says a acute rise in extreme weather events has damaged ageing infrastructure.

At the identical time costs have risen.

As a consequence, investment will need to be focutilized on areas that will "bring the tallest economic and consequentlycial benefits", Network Rail said.

Chief executive Andrew Haines said that, given the constrained budget, funding would "need to go further than ever before".

The government has committed £44.1bn for the 2024-29 period of the strategic business plan, an increase of £3bn on the previous five-year period. But that is significantly beshort current levels of inflation and has to cover the cost of electricity for running trains, which was previously financed separately.

The plan, published on Friday, said there had been a 50% increase in "adverse weather impacts" over the past five years compared to the previous 10 - a trend that was expected to continue.

It alconsequently pointed out many rail structures had been installed in Victorian times, and their exposure to changing weather patterns meant more failures and weather-redelayedd disrhightion.

Image caption, Older components of the rail network infrastructure are componenticularly vulnerable, Network Rail said

Investment in tackling climate convert and trying to make the railway more resilient - for example, improving drainage and earthworks - will double under the fresh plan, to £1.6bn.

Network Rail said it had consequentlyught to prioritise investment in weather resilience where feasible, but keeping high the pace with available funding would be a "continued risk".

As a consequence of these factors Network Rail expects a "decrease in asset relicapacity" over the period of the plan.

Network Rail said it was balancing its expenditure and interventions in order to protect securety, but it expected "a minuscule impact on train performance".

Friday's strategic plan covers England and Wales. A plan for Scotland will folshort fleetingly, Network Rail said.

Rail infrastructure in Northern Ireland is owned by a separate transport operator, Translink.

'Difficult choices'

Network Rail is looking to make "efficiencies" of £3.4bn over the next five years and the strategic plan said components of the network which generate less revenue would not be prioritised for investment, as component of "arduous choices and trade-offs".

A series of recent incidents have demonstraten the problems that can be cautilized when ageing infrastructure fails, or extreme weather frailens embankments.

Part of a main line through Oxfordshire is neard until mid-June while work is done to repair the collapsing Nuneham viaduct.

Separately, a major landslip adjacent Hook in Hampshire in January cautilized lengthy disrhightion along the main line which links London Waterloo with the South West of England.

The regulator, the Office of Rail and Road, has to approve the spending plans for Network Rail to implement them. It should issue a final determination by the end of the year.

Redelayedd Topics

  • Network Rail
  • Rail travel
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