More railway lines will need to be built if the UK’s network is to cope with the projected doubling of passenger and freight demand in the next 30 years, according to rail operators.
In ‘Planning ahead’, a paper published today, Network Rail, the Association of Train Operating Companies and the Rail Freight Operators’ Association, outlined its vision for the future of the country’s railways.
The report states that adding more services and increasing train lengths will not solve long term capacity issues.
Among the suggestions is a new high speed line between London and Scotland, which could take the pressure off the West Coast Mainline – forecast to be full by 2020.
It predicts that the next lines in need of extra capacity will be the Midland Main Line and East Coast Main Line.
The South West Main Line, Brighton Main Line and the route from London Bridge to Kent via Tonbridge are also earmarked as needing extra lines.
Today’s report signals the start of more detailed work to shape the industry’s long-term plans, which will feed into the Governments’ next review of the funding requirements for the railway in 2012.