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Monday, 14 January, 2002, 09:24 GMT
Rail masterplan at a glance
The rail blueprint - will delays be a thing of the past?
The Rail Authority's strategic plan outlines the priorities and timescales for rail projects until 2010.

It also lists a number of schemes that will probably not be started before the end of this decade.

Most major projects will need private as well public money.

Some schemes have already started. Others will only start after the SRA has reviewed each one to assess value for money, resources and affordability.

Projects include:

  • - 1,700 new coaches to be delivered by 2004 to replace 30-year-old slam-door rolling stock on the South Central, Connex South Eastern and South West Trains routes.

  • TRAIN PROTECTION - Completion by the end of 2003 of the Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) to prevent trains going through danger signals.

  • STATION IMPROVEMENTS - 700m for improving facilities at 1,000 stations to provide waiting rooms, toilets and security and information systems, as well as track and signalling schemes at more than 100 locations. The station work is due to be completed by 2004 and the whole programme by 2007.

  • LOCAL SCHEMES - 430m for local schemes under the Rail Passenger Partnership programme. These are schemes which are not normally able to earn commercial returns and include new stations, new lines, new services and improved station facilities. Some of these schemes can go ahead with as little as 100,000 from public funds, with local stakeholders also contributing.

  • EAST COAST MAIN LINE UPGRADE - The upgrade on this key London to Scotland route is listed as a priority scheme, with half-hourly services to Leeds also planned as an early change. Improvements could include longer trains and platforms and a remodelling of Peterborough station.

  • OVERCROWDING - Platform extensions to accommodate longer trains on the Connex South Eastern, Great Northern and First Great Eastern franchises. The Connex South Eastern work is due to be completed by the end of 2005

  • THAMESLINK 2000 - An extension of the existing Thameslink route to provide more frequent services through the centre of London and relieve congestion on the London Underground. As many as 24 trains an hour could run between Kings Cross and Blackfriars stations in London at peak times. This is a priority scheme which could start in 2003 and is due for completion in mid-2008.

  • WEST COAST MAIN LINE UPGRADE - This is the London to Scotland line on which Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Trains company will be introducing high-speed tilting trains later this year. Although the trains will be able to run at 125mph, the full 140mph speed may not be reached as the SRA says it is reviewing the West Coast upgrade. There will be significant journey time reductions on West Coast, and frequencies of Virgin's CrossCountry services will be doubled, benefiting areas such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Derby, Bristol and Plymouth.

    The BBC's Andrew North
    "Sorting out rail could create new problems on the roads"
    Strategic Rail Authority chairman Richard Bowker
    "Over a ten year time frame we can get a railway that Britain is proud of"
    Rail analyst Christian Wolmar
    "I think this report will pass only the 11+ exam"
    BBC News Online's in-depth coverage on the state of the UK's railways

    10 year rail plan

    1,000 MILE RAIL TRIP

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