Closing the Gap – the South West Peninsula strategic rail blueprint

‘Closing the Gap’ is the Peninsula Rail Task Force’s (PRTF) plan for investment into the South West peninsula’s strategic rail network. The plan was officially launched to Government on 22nd November 2016.

The plan defines the task force’s ambition of a 21st century rail network underpinned by three priorities:

  • Resilience and reliability
  • Faster journey times
  • Improved connectivity with sufficient capacity

After carrying out extensive research and study with the rail industry, ‘Closing the Gap’ sets out a long term cascade of improvements needed to close the growing gap between the South West and the rest of the UK in terms of rail funding and improvements. Investment is expected to deliver over £8.4 billion in economic benefits over the next 20 years.

The task force has also produced an appendix to the report that lists in more detail the outputs from the studies. It also has additional information to support the recommendations made within ‘Closing the Gap’. The following work stream studies are also available:


The pending Rail Strategy will build on PRTF’s 20-year plan, undertaking an in-depth examination of specific travel corridors, working with strategic partners including Network Rail and Western Gateway.