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New £4.2bn five-year plan to deliver for passengers and freight on Scotland’s Railway



Thursday 27 Jul 2023

New £4.2bn five-year plan to deliver for passengers and freight on Scotland’s Railway

Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland

Major investment in the Scotland’s Railway planned for next Control Period.

Network Rail Scotland published its £4.2bn, five-year plan today as it set out its ambition to deliver a safe, greener and more reliable railway.

Major investments in renewing the railway infrastructure, tackling climate change, greater use of technology, improving train performance and growing passenger and freight numbers are central to the plan.   

It sets out the path ahead for Control Period 7 (2024-29) and supports greater resilience of the network during extreme weather while aiming to make sure more trains arrive on time.  

The plan reflects the current economic reality and focuses on creating an efficient railway that delivers value for taxpayers, while prioritising safety, reliability and performance. 

In February this year, the Scottish Government published its High Level Output Statement (HLOS) and Statement of Funds Available (SoFA) detailing what it wants Scotland’s Railway to deliver and how much funding was available to make that happen. 

Funding for enhancements to the railway are not included in this settlement, but Scotland’s Railway will continue to deliver a greener railway and support the Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions. 

The plan for Scotland: 

Is focused on our customers by planning to deliver a more punctual and reliable railway and improving passenger and freight customer experience: 

  • We’ll leverage technology and innovation to further improve safety and reliability across the network, which will include the continued use of Britain’s first 24/7 weather desk, new visualisation tools, and remote condition monitoring to spot problems early.  
  • We’re investing more than £1.9 billion in renewals which will drive improvements in safety and reliability.  
  • We’ll reduce the net cost of the railway by making every penny of investment count.  


Supports all who use the railway by continuing to put passengers, the public and workforce safety at the heart of our plans:  

  • By investing more in climate change adaptation, we’ll improve the resilience of the rail network to the increasing impact of extreme weather.  
  • We’ll continue to develop our longer-term climate change adaptation strategy for Scotland’s Railway. This will help us to assess and understand the impact of climate change on the railway.  


Supports economic growth and connectivity:  

  • We’ll continue with our work on the Levenmouth rail link which will extend the economic, leisure and tourism benefits of rail.  
  • We’ll support Scotland’s net zero targets by decarbonising the railway and encouraging more passengers and businesses to choose rail as part of their sustainable journey.  
  • We’ll continue to grow rail freight through an ambitious but realistic target of 8.7% growth, with a single freight train taking up to 129 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) off the road.  


Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Scotland’s Route Director said: “We’re delighted by the Scottish Government’s continued support for the railway. Over the next five years, we’ll work hard to provide a safe, greener and more reliable railway for Scotland.   

“Our plan is ambitious and focuses on the needs of our customers while reflecting the necessity to deliver greater value for taxpayer money. We’re committed to delivering a railway that people can rely on and supports the social and economic growth of the nation.”   

Notes to Editors

The ORR is set to deliver its final determination on Network Rail’s delivery and funding for CP7 by 31 October 2023. The ORR will assess our commitments on safety, performance, asset sustainability and efficiency.  

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain’s railway infrastructure; that’s 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK’s largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country’s train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain’s railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation’s railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced – a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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