6,400 extra trains a week to run to more places, more often

Britain’s rail companies have unveiled plans to run over 6,400 more passenger trains every week by 2021, running to more places more often, creating new opportunities and supporting jobs.

  • Nearly 1,300 more trains a day will run Monday-Friday by 2021
  • Builds on and accelerates the pace of investment from the additional 1,350 trains a week introduced over the last four years
  • Key benefit of £50bn-plus Railway Upgrade Plan to transform railway for customers

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 per cent, according to new analysis by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) which represents train operators and Network Rail.

Operators are already running more than 1,350 extra trains a week compared with just four years ago. Overall, the total number of trains in the timetable has increased by 29 per cent – around 3,800 extra trains every day - in the last 20 years.

Future timetable plans show that:

  • Passengers travelling on commuter routes into and within London, as well as those on high-speed England to Scotland routes, will see an increase in the frequency of 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
  • Many of the improvements will be in place by 2019

The timetable improvements are boosted by an investment of £11.6bn in over 5,500 new train carriages, as well as significant investment in stations, signals and tracks.

The improvements are a key benefit of the £50bn plus Railway Upgrade Plan to tackle the capacity crunch on the network and improve reliability. It includes £31.3bn of renewals and enhancement by Network Rail to the railway infrastructure between 2014 and 2019, including work on the Thameslink Programme; spending to complete the £14.8bn Crossrail project; and £7.7bn on HS2 by April 2019.

Paul Plummer, RDG Chief Executive, 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. That’s why we’re delivering billions of pounds of improvements and reversing decades of under-investment.

“The £50bn plus Railway Upgrade Plan will help ease the congestion on Britain’s railway. It will break bottlenecks, untangle tracks and harness technology so that more trains can run to more places more often, creating new opportunities and supporting jobs.” 

Howard Smith, TfL’s Operations Director for the Elizabeth line, 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.”


Notes to editors

Find out more about improvements in your area: http://www.britainrunsonrail.co.uk/my-area.html

Data from the Rail Delivery Group shows that when comparing the Winter 2013/14 timetable with the Winter 2016/17 timetable, an additional 1,353 additional trains a week are running.

Up to 28 more trains per day into London Paddington, and 52 more trains leaving Paddington:Additional data is taken from the RDG’s annual dataset on industry finances, performance and investment.

Projected timetable improvements:

The following routes are projected to have an increased train service by the end of the decade compared to today. Figures are quoted in trains per week, some in trains per day, and some in trains per hour. Trains per hour figure run from 0700-2100 (14 hours per day):

Great Western Main Line
By December 2019:
  • An increase of 2 trains per hour into London Paddington in the morning peak
  • An increase of 3 trains per hour out of London Paddington in the morning peak
  • An increase of 2 trains per hour into London Paddington in the off-peak
  • An increase of 4 trains per hour out of London Paddington in the off-peak
Great Eastern and West Anglia Main Lines
By December 2019:
  • An increase of 2 trains per hour into London Liverpool Street in the morning peak
  • An increase of 6 trains per hour out of London Liverpool Street in the morning peak
  • An increase of 3 trains per hour into London Liverpool Street in the off-peak
  • An increase of 3 trains per hour out of London Liverpool Street in the off-peak
Elizabeth line (Crossrail)
By December 2019:
  • The Elizabeth line will join the map and 805 trains a day will pass through the central ‘core’ between London Paddington and Whitechapel, linking the Great Western and Great Eastern Main Lines for the first time and relieving pressure on London Underground’s Central line.
East Coast Main Line
In 2019:
  • An increase of 2 Hertford Loop trains per hour, Moorgate-Hertford
  • An increase of 1 Hertford Loop train per hour, Moorgate-Stevenage
  • An increase of 1 train per hour, Moorgate-Welwyn Garden City
  • An increase of 1 Thameslink train per hour, London St Pancras International-Cambridge
  • An increase of 1 Thameslink train per hour to and from Cambridge through the Central London core route to destinations south of London.
  • A brand new TransPennine service every hour, York-Edinburgh
In 2021:
  • An additional Virgin Trains East Coast or FirstGroup long-distance high speed train (LDHS) per hour, London-Edinburgh                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Midland Main Line

In 2018:

  • An increase of 12 services across the 3-hour morning peak from Bedford, Luton and St Albans into London St Pancras International
In 2019:
  • An increase of 200 trains per day (to 2,500), compared with 2,300 trains in 2016.
East Anglia:
  • Greater Anglia will run an additional 180 trains per week (Monday to Sunday) upon the introduction of their new timetable in December 2019, including on the key Norwich-London Liverpool Street route.
  • An increase from to 2 trains per hour (around 15 extra services per day), Ebbw Vale Town-Cardiff Central
West Coast Main Line:
  • An additional 6 trains per day, Euston-Blackpool North
North of England:
  • Additional trains as part of the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises brand new TransPennine Express service introduced between Liverpool and Glasgow
In late 2017:
  • An extra TransPennine Express evening service between Sheffield and Manchester
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