UK rail industry welcomes East Coast Main Line funding, benefiting the Northern Powerhouse and passengers

23 July 2018

Today the Government announced it will provide £780million in investment for major upgrades to the East Coast Main Line from 2019, to be completed in the early 2020s, providing real benefit to the Northern Powerhouse region.

Responding, Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “The Railway Industry Association welcomes confirmation today of the £780 million package of investment in trains, digital signalling and Traffic Management Systems to allow up to 24 trains per hour to run on the busiest sections of the East Coast Main Line. Current signalling system capability on the line is around 16 trains per hour, so this investment will be transformational in delivering faster and more frequent services, to the clear benefit of passengers.

“The new systems are being procured through a process which puts the emphasis on suppliers to deliver performance, reliability and to ensure the availability of the railway in working hours. This move to outcome based procurement is to be welcomed, as it allows a greater focus on delivering results which matter to rail users, such as shorter journey times and better performance. 

“Along with this investment announced today, it is vital that the Government continues to support the North’s transport infrastructure more widely, through major projects like HS2, the Trans Pennine Route Upgrade and Northern Powerhouse Rail – all of which are vital not only for the North, but for UK plc, its economy and connectivity, in the years ahead.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Government’s announcement on the East Coast Main Line can be found here.
  2. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the representative body for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. It has more than 200 companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too.  RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.

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