Network Rail intensified its capital programme in the first six months of 2011, increasing works by 20 per cent to £2 billion compared with the same period last year.
Network Rail’s group finance director, Patrick Butcher, said: “Network Rail remains committed to running a safe railway with increasing cost efficiency, investment and performance.”
The firm is now half way through its five year review period and said it was on course to hit the 22 per cent cost savings it was set to achieve between 2009-2014.
The half year trading update for the period do 30 September said: “Network Rail forecasts to achieve over £700 million in this financial year. Total efficiency over the first three years of this control period is forecast to reach between 16 per cent and 17 per cent.
“This has been achieved by delivering capital works for less, better asset management, and by reducing operating and maintenance costs.”
Mr Butcher added: “These results show that Network Rail is continuing to both drive down costs and increase capacity on the railway. These achievements meet commitments to achieve efficiencies and to deliver better value-for-money for the rail industry, rail users and tax payers.”
The company said that significant progress had been made on the upgrade of London’s Thameslink with major work at Farringdon and Blackfriars, as well as with projects at King’s Cross, Birmingham New Street, Reading, and on Crossrail.
Major works in Scotland include Paisley Corridor improvements. Other projects completed in the half year include work on the upgrade of the Cotswold line and the Evergreen 3 mainline project.