The Network Rail plans come at a time of passenger anger at the above-inflation 4.2% season ticket average fare rises this month.
To be agreed with and approved by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), the NR plan envisages improvements that by 2019 will:
- See 225 million more passengers per year travelling and 355,000 more trains in service - the highest numbers ever;
- Provide 20% extra morning peak seats into central London and 32% into large regional cities in England and Wales;
- Provide 700 more trains a day linking key northern cities and a 10-minute reduction in journey time between Manchester and Leeds;
- See 30% more freight being carried than today;
- Cut CO2 emissions per passenger by 37% and reduce risk at level crossings by 8%;
- Plan a move away from more than 800 signal boxes to 14 major operations centres;
- Reduce the cost of running Britain's railways by a further 18% and cut annual public subsidy to between £2.6 billion and £2.9 billion in 2019 - down from £4.5 billion in 2009 and £7 billion in 2004.