New Railways and Stations policy

Railway route miles and numbers of stations in the United Kingdom (source: DfT, HRA) are as follows:
Network (2013)Route milesStations/stops
National Rail98462532
Heritage Railways553438
London Underground250270
Northern Ireland Railways21122
Light rail systems182340
Glasgow underground6.515

379 new stations and 530 miles of new railway have been built or restored for passenger use on the national network since 1965 (source: Railfuture). Many of these are the result of active campaigning by Railfuture, often over many years.
  1. Railfuture supports the provision of new railways (including HS2) and stations to match the changing demographic pattern in Britain and to improve access to the railway for the growing numbers of people now using rail.
  2. Railfuture will focus its campaigns on new and reopened lines and stations which most support economic growth and which therefore have a good chance of success within the following existing legal and political framework:
    • New railways and stations are expensive to build, and significant economic benefits are required to justify the cost of construction or operation. A business case is required, normally with a benefit to cost ratio of at least 2:1.
    • Stations and rail routes are owned by Network Rail, which also manages 19 major stations, while the remainder are managed by the Train Operating Companies (TOCs) leasing them. The drive for new stations, however, normally comes from devolved government, PTEs, local authorities, or from TOCs or developers.
    • Funding is limited, but apart from that provided by the industry or developers, the Local Sustainable Transport Fund can provide some help. Local Economic Partnerships also have funds for capital projects, like new stations, which bring economic benefits for their areas.
    • New railways generally require a Transport & Works Act Order, approved by the Secretary of State, adding to the complexity and timescale of projects.
  3. Whilst good progress has been made with new stations, sponsoring new railways is generally beyond the capability of most local authorities or developers. Railfuture believes that an agency to sponsor new railway lines is required.
  4. Railfuture believes that local authorities should protect remaining line formations or station sites, which are potentially of value in future reopening schemes for which a business case has yet to be established, through the planning system.

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