Public Accounts Committee

Network Rail: 2014–2019 rail investment programme inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Report published 20 November 2015. Government response published 3 March 2016.

Report published

On 25 June 2015, the Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, told the House of Commons that "important aspects of Network Rail's investment programme are costing more and taking longer", making public his concerns about Network Rail's ability to deliver its current five-year, £38 billion investment programme, 'Control Period 5' ('CP5', 2014–2019). He announced that electrification work on the Midland Mainline and the Transpennine route would be paused.

The other major electrification project, Great Western Main Line, is seen as a top priority. The Government has commissioned three reviews into:

  • how the problems with this planning period arose and the lessons that may be learned, to improve future rail infrastructure investment
  • how the current enhancement programme can be delivered
  • the future structure and financing of Network Rail.

The National Audit Office has submitted a memorandum to provide a factual overview of the Department for Transport, Office of Rail and Road and Network Rail's roles in the planning and delivery of CP5, prior to the publication of the government commissioned reviews.

This inquiry will draw on the NAO memorandum to examine:

  • the current difficulties in delivering the planned programme, to understand how rail investment is planned
  • how CP5 differs from the 2009–2014 investment programme and the implications of the decision to reclassify Network Rail as a public sector body
  • how and when concerns were raised about CP5 and how the Government is responding.


Read all transcripts, written evidence and other material related to the Network Rail: 2014–2019 rail investment programme inquiry.


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