Transport Select Committee calls for evidence on investment in the railway

The Transport Select Committee has called for evidence with regards to investment into the present railway. Readers will be very interested to note reference to the rolling stock strategy and proposals beyond 2019.

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Building on the Committee’s January 2013 Rail 2020 report, the inquiry will scrutinise the impact and deliverability of Network Rail’s £38 billion investment programme over the next five years and identify priorities for investment after 2019.

Questions to be explored

The Committee would like to explore the following questions:

  • What are the main features of the rail investment plan for 2014-19 (Control Period 5)? How will the railway be different in 2019 following delivery of the plan?
  • What is expected to happen to passenger satisfaction over this period? Is the rail industry measuring passenger satisfaction in the right way?
  • Is Network Rail confident that it can deliver its planned investments and meet its targets for efficiency and punctuality? How should train operators assist in ensuring that Network Rail delivers? How will the Office for Rail Regulation ensure that planned investments represent value for money?
  • Has Network Rail prioritised the right schemes for the purpose of improving the railway’s resilience?
  • How might reclassification of Network Rail as a central government body in September 2014 affect rail investment?
  • Is the balance between passenger and freight investment right? What additional demand for freight movements might be released with a different balance of investment?
  • What will be the railway’s demand for new rolling stock over the next decade and how will this demand be met?
  • How will electrification affect the passenger experience of the railway, rolling stock requirements and rail freight?
  • What should be the priorities for investment after 2019 (Control Period 6), particularly in relation to connecting the classic railway with High Speed 2?

 The Committee asks for submissions by Friday 13 June 2014.

Chair’s comments

Making this announcement, Louise Ellman, Chair of the House of Commons Transport Committee, said:

“Much debate has taken place recently about HS2. We now want to focus on investment in the existing classic line, including how services can be improved and how efficiency in the railway can be increased, improving passenger satisfaction.”

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