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.
- 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
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.