Growth in rail travel has outpaced the strengthening economy and rising employment levels over the last six months, according to new figures from the industry-wide Rail Delivery Group. The growth in rail travel between April and September follows a total of almost 1.6 billion journeys in 2013/14, and the latest totals are now reaching levels not recorded in peacetime since the 1920s. But speculation continues that Network Rail's budget for Control Period 5 will not be sufficient, and that some electrification schemes may lag.
The construction industry is being advised to prepare for one of the world's largest projects -- the construction of HS2. The first phase between London and the West Midlands, and possibly onwards to Crewe or Stoke, will involve contracts worth £10 billion. 800 delegates from around 500 firms will converge on Manchester Central conference centre today to hear from HS2 Ltd about what will be needed from industry. The transport secretary is describing today's event as 'crucial'.
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