Network Rail, the UK’s main rail infrastructure body, has announced it will invest £2 billion (€2.35 billion) in railways across Wales and its borders.
The funding will be distributed over the next five years and will support more than 1,000 local initiatives, including £176 million (€206.37 million) on rebuilding and improving train tracks; £27.7 million (€32.48 million) towards boosting the rail network’s defences against extreme weather events; and £135 million (€158.29 million) on improvements to signalling technology. The Barmouth viaduct, a prominent architectural icon of the Welsh rail system, will undergo a £22 million (€25.8 million) renovation.
Bill Kelly, route managing director for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, said: “We’ve put passengers and our freight customers first in developing our five-year plan, which will make the railway more reliable for the thousands of people who use it every day. Our focus over the next five years will rightly be on operating a railway people can rely on to get them to their destinations safely and on time, and we will be working closely with Transport for Wales to maximise every investment opportunity for the benefit of our passengers and freight customers.”
The CP6 rail investment will support a separate tranche of funding from Transport for Wales, totalling £5 billion (€5.86 billion) across the next 15 years, aimed at boosting rail use. Transport for Wales’s investment will go towards deploying new trains, renovating stations around Wales; and increasing the passenger capacity of the Welsh rail network.
Transport for Wales CEO James Price said: “It’s encouraging to see Network Rail committing £2bn to maintain and renew the railway across our Wales and Borders network. At Transport for Wales we have begun our investment plan of £5bn to transform transport across the sector as a result of which passengers will benefit from new trains, improved and new stations, and an overall increase in capacity across the network. The customer experience is at the heart of our decision making and planning as we continue to move forward and deliver our vision. We are working collaboratively with Network Rail and through this planned investment, we will create a rail service that the people of Wales can be proud of.”