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8 January 2013
In the summer of 2012, the Government published its vision for Britain's railway, the High Level Output Specification (HLOS). This detailed what it wanted the rail industry to deliver in Control Period 5, 2014-2019.
Working with our industry partners, we carefully considered how we could best deliver against these requirements and the Government's wider economic objectives. The strategic business plans are our formal response to the Government, setting out our strategy and detailing the schemes we think should be taken forward in that period.
At the same time we have also published A better railway for a better Britain. This looks at the longer term, the challenges that we face and makes clear Network Rail's commitments in ten key areas that will bring benefits for our customers and tax payers.
An unprecedented demand for rail
The last decade has seen unprecedented growth in demand for rail travel. One million more trains run every year than ten years ago. More passengers arrive on time than ever before and our safety record is one of the best in Europe. Alongside this, public subsidy for rail has reduced, almost halving from its peak in 2006.
Against this backdrop, the strategic business plans outline how we will address the estimated growth in passenger volumes while meeting our ongoing commitments to running a safer and greener railway. Amongst others it identifies opportunities to deliver:
700 extra trains a day linking key northern cities
A 43% increase in London and South East commuter capacity
New lines to increase capacity in Scotland
Electrifying far more of our railway, and introducing modern signalling.
What happens next?
Following the Office of Rail Regulation's (ORR) determination on our strategic business plans and how much it thinks Network Rail needs to deliver in Control Period 5, we will publish our final delivery plan in March 2014.