Friday 21 July 2017

Rail electrification projects cancelled

New improvements for rail passengers in Wales, the Midlands and the North

The Department for Transport announces plans for new bi-mode trains for passengers with more seats and better on-board facilities.
The government today also published the consultation for the next East Midlands franchise, which will deliver reduced journey times for intercity services and more seats for long distance passengers at peak hours, as well as dedicated services and more capacity for commuters coming into London. The franchise will maximise the benefits of the upgrade of the Midland Main Line — the biggest investment in the route since it was completed in 1870.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
We are making the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorian era and upgrading services across the country, including in Wales, the midlands and the north.
Passengers expect and deserve high quality rail services and we are committed to using the best available technology for each part of the network, delivering significant benefits for those who use our railways.

Benefits along the specific routes include:

Cardiff to Swansea

From Autumn 2017, passengers in Wales will benefit from new Intercity Express trains which will each deliver over 130 extra seats, faster journey times and improved connectivity for South Wales to London with 40% more seats in the morning peak once the full fleet is in service.
Network Rail will also develop additional options to improve journeys for passengers in Wales. These will include:
  • improving journeys times and connections between Swansea and Cardiff, and South Wales, Bristol and London
  • improving journeys times and connections across North Wales
  • direct services from Pembroke Dock to London via Carmarthen on new, state of the art Intercity Express trains
  • station improvements at Cardiff Station
  • station improvements in and around Swansea including looking at the case for additional provision
The Secretary of State also welcomed a proposal for Wales’ first privately funded railway station at St Mellons. The department will work with the promoters of the scheme as they develop their plans to the next stage.
The first new Intercity Express trains will enter service from this Autumn and once the whole fleet is introduced and electrification to Cardiff is complete journey times between Swansea, London and other stations along the route will be approximately 15 minutes shorter.

Midland Main Line

The next operator will be required to deliver modern, fast and efficient intercity and commuter trains, including a brand new set of bi-mode intercity trains from 2022, maximising the benefits of the largest upgrade of the Midland Main Line since it opened in 1870. This will improve journeys sooner, without the need for wires and masts on the whole route, with further investment to come to ensure Sheffield is ready for HS2.

Benefits include reducing journey times on long distance services from Nottingham and Sheffield by up to 20 minutes in the peak and delivering over 1000 additional seats an hour in the peak into London, an increase of more than 50%.

Oxenholme to Windermere

Passengers in the Lake District will benefit from 4 direct services a day in each direction between Windermere and Manchester Airport from May 2018.
The government has announced plans to ensure passengers enjoy brand new trains from December 2019. Journeys between Windermere and Manchester Airport will be improved sooner and with less disruption to services and local communities. It also means there is no need to construct intrusive wires and masts in this National Park.