Rail Industry welcomes Union Connectivity Review Interim Report

10 March 2021

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the trade body for the UK rail supply community has welcomed the publication of the Union Connectivity Review Interim Report, launched today.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “It is positive to see the Government set out ideas for new rail investment, including better connections from HS2 to Scotland and North Wales and higher capacity on the East Coast Main Line. Rail has a vital role to play in the UK’s economic recovery from Coronavirus and in achieving net zero by 2050, but to do so it needs certainty on planned rail schemes, like HS2 Eastern Leg, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the Midlands Rail Hub, as well as visibility of upcoming rail enhancement schemes, and the decarbonisation and digitalisation of the network.

“The rail industry looks forward to working with the Government to take these forward, supporting jobs, investment and economic growth as we emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Notes to Editors


  1. The Report can be found here. The rail proposals the report considers include:
  •  Faster and higher capacity connections for passengers from HS2 to Scotland and North Wales, and consequently better freight capacity too
  • Higher capacity and faster journey times to and from Scotland from England and Wales and Newcastle by rail (East Coast Main Line) and road (A1)
  • Improved port capacity, road and rail capacity and journey times East/West across the Midlands and the North, for passengers, and to enhance freight capacity and connections from Ireland, and onwards to the East Coast ports for exports, post Brexit.
  • Faster and higher capacity connections from Belfast to North West Northern Ireland, and to the Republic of Ireland, for passengers and freight, and to link with the Republic’s plans for rail development
  1. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.

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