Page last updated at 17:28 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

Rail station plans get go-ahead

Generic picture of a train
Train services could run in a re-vamped central station in Cardiff

Multi-million pound plans to improve services for rail users at Cardiff's stations have been given the go-ahead by regulators.

New platforms and signalling could be installed in a package of measures approved by the office of rail regulation.

It comes alongside Network Rail's 200m re-signalling project in the Cardiff area.

Network Rail has also been given performance targets for train times.

Responsible for the infrastructure of Britain's rail system, Network Rail will get 26.7bn to fund schemes for the next 5 years, a shortfall of 2.4bn than the 29.1bn it had requested.

It will study the funding in detail and decide by February whether it needs more money.

Paul Plummer, director of planning and regulation at Network Rail, said the targets set by the Office of Rail Regulation were challenging.

"We will carefully consider the implications it will have on both passengers and freight users and on the industry as a whole," he said.

Investment could include:

  • Four through platforms at Cardiff Queen Street
  • An additional Valleys platform at Cardiff central station
  • Improving the city line running between Radyr and Cardiff via Ninian Park
  • More track and signalling improvements at Barry and Cogan

Already at the design stage is planned improvements to Newport station costing between 20 - 30m.

The efficiency target set by the Office of Rail Regulation is demanding better punctuality from Network Rail - with at least 92% of trains running on time.

The current trains-on-time figure has reached 90%.

The funding level set by the ORR for Network Rail runs for five years from April 2009.

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