The rail industry has agreed a new process to plan for future demand for rail services, decide how capacity can best be used and assess value for money options for investment.
Today, more people travel by rail than ever before and demand for passenger and freight services is expected to rise significantly in the future.
Replacing the previous Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) programme, the Long Term Planning Process (LTPP) has been developed to allow Network Rail and the industry to respond flexibly to the challenges posed by this growth whilst planning the long-term capability of the rail network up to 30 years ahead.
This is in line with wider changes within the industry, such as longer and less prescriptive franchises, Network Rail’s reorganisation into ten devolved routes and new alliances between train operating companies and Network Rail at route level.
Paul Plummer, Network Rail group strategy director, said:
“The railway is booming with more and more people choosing rail. As we plan for the future, it is vital that our approach recognises the valuable role rail plays in driving and supporting economic growth. This new approach does that and allows us to plan for Britain’s future.
“By working together as an industry, and by consulting widely among key stakeholders, we can be sure that we understand what the railway of the future should look like and the best value for money options to deliver for growing numbers of passengers and businesses.”