Rail Enhancements Clock

 

On Monday 8 February 2021,  the Railway Industry Association’s Enhancements Clock will show it has been 1 year and 111 days since the last date the Government gave an update on its list of upgrade projects in the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP). 

RIA is calling for an update on the list of rail projects in the RNEP, so that rail businesses have the visibility to plan for work, at such an uncertain time for the industry. The RNEP was last published in October 2019, and has not been updated for around a year and seven months, even though Government has promised to do so annually.

 On 16 September 2020, in response to a Parliamentary Question, the Rail Minister confirmed that:

"The Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline showing the status of rail enhancement schemes at different stages of development will be published on an annual basis. An update of this will be published following the Spending Review."

However, the RNEP has still not been published since the Spending Review in November 2020.

RIA's Key Asks

RIA and our members are calling on the Government to:

  • Urgently publish an update on the the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline list;
  • Commit to regularly publishing the list in future, to ensure certainty for rail businesses;
  • Support the industry in delivering the projects within the Pipeline, in order to support the low carbon, build back better agenda.

Background information

Rail enhancements are large scale projects delivering new infrastructure such as building a new track for additional capacity or electrifying a route. The UK rail network needs enhancements to increase rail capacity, improve journey times, and generate further economic growth, particularly following the economic slowdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. The Government also has goals to decarbonise the rail network and 'build back better', which can only be achieved through enhancement projects.

 


 

The Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) is a list of planned rail enhancement projects at various stages of being delivered. The Pipeline is owned by the Department for Transport, with each rail project going through various stages before getting sign off. Visibility of these projects and the investment pipeline is essential for rail businesses, who need to plan and invest so that they are ready to deliver.

The last RNEP published can be found here

 


 

The RNEP was last publshed in October 2019, and has not been published for around a year and seven months.


 

Rail suppliers need visibility so they can adequately plan for upcoming work. Without visibility of work, teams will be disbanded, skills will be lost, multi-national companies may move to other sectors or to work overseas and SMEs will find the industry a more difficult environment. Given the uncertainty posed by the Coronavirus pandemic, it is even more vital that rail suppliers can have confidence in upcoming work.


 

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