This site is in beta mode while we add the remaining policies. To feedback or help, please get in touch!
In Progress
Create extra capacity on the railways

We will focus on creating extra capacity on the railways, which will ease overcrowding, bring new lines and stations, and improve existing routes – including for freight.

Our Verdict

Along with the proverbial “leaves on the track”, overcrowded trains has become something many people associate with rail travel in the UK.  This is a promise to increase capacity by opening new lines and stations, as well as improving existing routes.

There are other promises related to increasing passenger railway capacity which we’ve tracked separately (see “Related policies” below). We are tracking this promise too because “extra capacity” could be delivered even if those related policies aren’t.

In October 2017, the government announced a direct grant of £34.7 billion for rail spending between 2019-2024. Network Rail, which operates railway infrastructure on behalf of the government, currently lists five “mega projects” and three “national projects” designed to improve capacity. Mega projects include:

  • Crossrail – scheduled to open in 2020, running from Reading to Shenfield, aiming to carry 200 million  customers annually
  • Derby Resignalling Project – completed at the end of 2018, reduced bottlenecks in the Midlands and added a platform to Derby station
  • Great North Project – to allow 14.6 million extra journeys annually in the north of England, scheduled for delivery by 2022
  • Great Western Mainline – electrification of the track predicted to increase peak-hour capacity by 30%
  • Thameslink Programme – enhanced infrastructure and 115 new trains

Despite these projects, capacity has not kept up with passenger numbers. Cities outside London on average ran with 2% more passengers than capacity in Autumn 2018 – up from 1.8% in 2017. The London routes were even busier, 4.0% over capacity.

This policy is ‘in progress’. There are various initiatives under way which should help the government reach its target. To deliver on this promise, we will expect future statistical releases to demonstrate increased capacity on the railways. Follow this policy for updates.

Want to find out more?

Related policies

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we track policies, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why or submit an edit.

Get involved!

Whether you are for or against this policy or just want to know more, it's never been easier to get involved and have your say. Try these for starters…

Join the discussion On this page, or Twitter, or Facebook. Democracy is better shared!
Follow this policy We'll send you email alerts every time something interesting happens.
Ask your MP Ask your MP to help you support or block this policy - write to them here.
Get the facts Sense about Science and Full Fact are great for evidence and fact checking.
Get ahead! The Simple Politics newsletter breaks it all down for you - before it happens!
Comments