Investment in railways across the south and south west of England has increased to record levels this year says Network Rail.
Over £146m was invested by the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance between 1 April and 31 October 2013. The money has been focused on improving infrastructure reliability and doing up stations.
New investment has delivered longer platforms, new lifts and bridges at stations, better information systems and footbridges at level crossings. Money has also been spent on track and power upgrades.
Nationally, Network Rail’s half- year results show a total of £2.74 biilion was invested in the railway across Britain – an increase of 33% on the same period last year and 53% higher than four years ago. The £146m breaks down into £22m on new points and crossings, £42m on track renewals and £24m on signalling. £12m was spent on electrification. Work started on the £13m resignalling project between Poole and Wool in Dorset. Farnham resignalling work accounted for £6.5m.
Two new footbridges were built at Alton and Farnham stations and a new footbridge installed at North Sheen level crossing. Wokingham station benefitted from a £6m redevelopment.
Across the south and south west of England, £90.7m has been spent lengthening platforms at 65 stations. Further multi-million pound infrastructure improvements are planned for the approach to Waterloo and the station itself. Platform 20 in the Waterloo International Terminal will be brought into permanent use in April 2014 and work will take place during 2014 to reinstate further platforms in the terminal.
Extra carriages will be added to trains to provide additional capacity and seats for passengers. Work also started on a new state- of-the-art signalling and training centre in Basingstoke which will control large areas of railway in London and the south west. It is due to be completed by the end of 2014.