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Network Rail beefs up investment but more trains are late as net debt increases to £30.6bn

Network Rail faces a penalty after missing its train performance targets

Network Rail's net debt has risen to £30.6 billion after the company upped investment by 33 percent in the half year, spending £2.74 billion on new platforms, information systems, lifts, footbridges and tracks.

But the number of passenger trains arriving on time still fell in the six months, from 91.7 per cent last year to 90.7 per cent.

Network Rail has missed its train performance targets for this year and will face a penalty from the industry regulator.

But finance director Patrick Butcher was focused on “the biggest sustained investment programme since Victorian times”, adding: “With a million more trains and half a billion more passengers than 10 years ago, our railways are all but full.”

Recent works include completion of  the £550 million King’s Cross renovation and a new concourse at Reading station, as well as renewing 2,000 miles of track and installing nearly 200 lifts at stations.

The business receives a taxpayer subsidy of £3.6 billion a year to look after railway tracks and signals.