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How Digital Railway is the answer to the UK's capacity crunch

The Digital Railway programme is the industry’s plan to tackle the UK’s capacity crunch. But what challenges does accelerating the digital modernisation of our railways bring? And how can these be overcome with good management, supply chain collaboration and a strong investment case?

Simon Rawlinson

Head Of Strategic Research and Insight +44 (0)20 7812 2319 Ask me a question
Digital Railway UK

“Digital Railway will touch almost every aspect of train operation, passenger experience and rail infrastructure.”

Parts of the UK’s railway system are already operating at peak capacity, with some services up to 200% oversubscribed. Freight demand has also exploded, up 100% since 2003.

With passenger numbers set to double in the next 25 years, the benefits of digitisation have been much discussed. Wider modernisation could significantly benefit Network Rail, its passengers and freight, not just in terms of increasing capacity, but also improving resilience, reliability and safety. 

Overcoming implementation challenges 

Momentum is gathering behind Network Rail’s Digital Railway programme. However, there are significant implementation challenges to overcome, centred around technology, as well as integrating new systems, the co-ordination and collaboration of the supply chain, and making the business case for investment.

However, with funding now set aside, pilot schemes identified and an industry plan and commercial strategy coming together, the Digital Railway programme needs to push forward into implementation. This is about demonstrating the benefits to the UK, justifying the programme and giving confidence to the supply chain. Accelerating the digitalisation of our railways will not only enhance the passenger experience, but contribute to the wider sustainable growth of the UK economy. 

Download the full insight below to find out more. 

Questions about this article

Simon Rawlinson

Head Of Strategic Research and Insight +44 (0)20 7812 2319 Ask me a question

Arcadis White paper

How Digital Railway is the answer to the UK’s capacity crunch

The Digital Railway programme is the industry’s plan to tackle the UK’s capacity crunch. But what challenges does accelerating the digital modernisation of our railways bring? And how can these be overcome with good management, supply chain collaboration and a strong investment case?

Download