This is a Sponsored Post by the Rail Delivery Group.
A better railway is crucial to delivering prosperity in every part of the country, connecting communities and transforming regional economies. As we enter the new decade, the rail industry stands ready and determined to play its part in delivering improvements across Britain.
In 2020, train companies are undertaking a massive upgrade of trains to improve journeys for passengers and enable more frequent services.
By the time we next sing Auld Lang Syne, people will be travelling on 1,000 extra train carriages. An estimated £20 billion will have been spent running and upgrading the railway, improving vital infrastructure like tracks and signalling.
Nine operators spanning the length and breadth of the country are introducing new and upgraded rolling stock. In total, the industry has pledged to deliver more than 8,000 new carriages by 2025 – equivalent to replacing over half of the country’s train fleet, new for old.
Along with 1,000 extra trains, the rail industry has introduced an extra 1,000 services per week for 2020. Each extra train means a town, village or city is better connected. A person able to get to a new job. A business linked to a new market. In many cases, much faster than ever before.
New carriages will offer more seats, better Wi-Fi and improved accessibility, making journeys more comfortable and the time people spend on the train more productive. Improved technology on board new carriages will be able to improve journey planning for passengers, with better information about where their train is and which carriage to board to get a seat.
Importantly, this investment will be felt in communities across the whole country, not just in London. With the long-awaited retirement of Pacer trains, long held up as a symbol of chronic underinvestment in the region, the North of England will see a major portion of the new carriages being rolled out this year.
Across Northern, TransPennine Express and Merseyrail routes, more than 150 new trains are being introduced to make rail travel across the region a better experience and provide the North with the infrastructure it needs to allow communities and businesses to grow in the decades ahead.
Investment is also furthering rail companies’ commitment to make the railway more accessible to more people. All new trains on Merseyrail and Greater Anglia’s lines will feature unassisted access and automatic ramps between trains and platforms, improving accessibility for disabled passengers.
Over the last 25 years the railway has supported economic growth and shifting patterns in how people live and work. Now, we need to take it forward again to ensure it delivers for the next 25 years.
The huge investment in new trains and extra services is just part of the picture. The rail industry is committed to bigger, structural change too. We look forward to the forthcoming Williams Review and rail white paper.
Together and with government, rail companies are ready to deliver the once-in-a-generation reform that is needed to make the railway more customer-focussed, joined-up and accountable.
Find out more about the new trains coming on track at www.bigplanbigchanges.co.uk/new-trains