Rail services in Britain will increase by more than 6,400 passenger trains a week by 2021, with the bulk of the increase coming from the opening of Crossrail in 2019.
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train operators and Network Rail, said projected timetable improvements for the next four years show that 1,283 more trains a day (6,417 a week) will run from Monday to Friday nationwide, an increase of 11%.
Crossrail services will be called the Elizabeth Line
It said that in 2019, when the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) joins the network, 805 trains a day will pass through the central ‘core’ of London, between Paddington and Whitechapel.
Howard Smith, Elizabeth Line operations director for Transport for London, said: ‘The Elizabeth line will transform travel across London and beyond - boosting capacity, hugely improving accessibility and supporting hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs.
‘In order to realise the vast economic potential for the whole country, this type of investment must be maintained, including building Crossrail 2 to relieve pressure as our region’s population continues to rapidly grow, thereby supporting the UK's economy.’
RDG chief executive Paul Plummer said: ‘Rail is an ever more vital public service, enabling jobs, housing and economic growth. But there’s a capacity crunch affecting the railway, with journeys having doubled in 20 years and the number of trains increasing too.'
The RDG said rail firms are already running more than 1,350 extra trains a week than four years ago, with the total number of trains in the timetable increasing by 29% in the last 20 years.
It said future timetable plans show that:
- passengers on high-speed England to Scotland routes will see more frequent trains
- passengers using the Edinburgh to Glasgow and TransPennine routes will also see timetable improvements
- further improvements will cover the Midlands, Wales, Kent, the West Country and the North West as the rail industry finalises the detail of new timetables