Widespread commuter travel delays and chaos this morning have been caused by a "server crash" which meant that information to display screens was not being updated, Network Rail has confirmed.
The server that provides information to display screens crashed this morning and had to be restarted and should catch up later today. This has nothing to do with the system that locates where trains are or track safety.
Rail passengers will be hit by ticket fare hikes from today as prices rise by an average of 2.2%.Read the full story ›
Rail fares will rise by an average of 2.2% from January 2, 2015, rail industry body the Rail Delivery Group announced today.
The Government is expected to publish its report on rail overcrowding in England and Wales later this morning.
The annual list from the Department of Transport will include a list of the top 10 most overcrowded train services in the country.
Last year, the 8:27am service from London Heathrow to Paddington emerged as the most overcrowded with 786 passengers cramming into space for 476.
The 6:13pm service London Euston to Birmingham New St station was the second worst, with a train loaded with 1149 passengers when it only had capacity for 698.
Tonight's vote in Parliament on the HS2 bill means the high-speed rail line will begin construction in 2017, the Transport Secretary has confirmed.
Patrick McLoughlin also tried to calm the fears of anti-HS2 campaigners over the impact of the proposed route on their areas, saying:
"I am aware of the concerns some who live very close to the HS2 route have. I am confident however that by working together we can ensure this vital new north-south railway is designed in the right way, and we will have spades in the ground in 2017 as planned."
Some rail services would not be "commercially viable" without extra funding from the taxpayer, a Government spokesman has said.
A Department for Transport spokesman defended the Government's record on rail spending, arguing the transport service delivered wider "social, environmental and economic benefits":
Subsidy and premium differ across the UK, even at a regional level, because of variations in demand and costs, with some busier services requiring less Government support.
Many services would not be commercially viable without taxpayer funding, and we subsidise them because they deliver wide social, environmental and economic benefits to their communities.
Some £7.7bn in revenue was generated just through rail fares last year, with higher passenger numbers credited with the 3.6% rise on the amount brought in during 2011/12, according to a report from the regulator.
According to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) report covering April 2012- March 2013:
- The cost of running Britain's railways was £12.3 billion in 2012-13. This overall cost has remained consistent over the past three years.
- The industry earned nearly £3 billion from discounted tickets (such as advance, off-peak, super-off peak and special offers) - amounting to more than 40% of the total passenger income.
- Rolling stock charges paid by Virgin Trains, for example, were £302 million but those paid by East Coast were £53 million.
The amount of money spent on the railways varies widely from England to Scotland and Wales, according to a report from industry regulators.
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) found a "huge disparity" between Government spending in different parts of the UK, with rail journeys in England receiving as little as £2.19 per passenger journey.
In Scotland, £7.60 was spent per passenger journey and £9.33 in Wales during the year 2012/13, the report found.
Total government funding for 2012/13 for the railways amounted to £4 billion which represented 30.9% of the industry's total income and included £700,000 from Transport Scotland and £100,000 from the Welsh Government.
Network Rail Director Mick Carne said the planned £38 billion upgrade to Britain's railways will improve the resilience of the system and the service for passengers.
Speaking to Consumer Editor Chris Choi he said the investment announced today was vital, and that he was "very conscious of the fact" that Network Rail "had a better job to do".
The head of one of the train drivers' trade union has hit out at the Government's strategy for improving the railways and called for the network to be returned to public ownership.
Mick Whelan, the general secretary of Aslef, said the £38bn announced for 2014-19 "only keeps us standing still".
The truth is that, after 20 years of privatisation, things aren't getting better. That's why opinion poll after opinion poll shows that most people - including most Conservative voters - in this country want our fragmented railways brought back into public ownership so we can run a properly integrated public service. It's time to build a better railway for everyone in Britain.