New commuter rail lines may need to be built on the busiest routes into London in coming decades as capacity on existing lines is exhausted, the rail industry has warned in a joint report on its future needs.

New lines are likely to be necessary as railways creak under the strain of a doubling of passenger and freight demand in the next 30 years, said the Planning Ahead document, compiled by Network Rail, the Association of Train Operating Companies and the Association of Freight Operators.

The report is intended to highlight the railways’ long term investment needs. It is particularly aimed at starting the planning process for the five years following 2014, after the end of Network Rail’s funding agreement with government and rail regulators.

The report identifies the London-Brighton line into London Victoria, the South-West Trains route into London Waterloo and the line from Tonbridge and Kent to London Bridge as those most likely to need replacing.

Financial Times