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19.03.15

Privately-funded Selby to Hull electrification by the end of CP6

The government has said the electrification of the Selby to Hull line will be complete by 2024, subject to an “acceptable contribution” from First Hull Trains and a business case. This date is far later than had originally been hoped. 

The open access operator’s decision to put substantial funding, up to £94m, into the electrification project has been welcomed, but many people in the Hull area were hoping the project would be done by 2017, when Hull becomes UK City of Culture. 

First Hull Train’s current track access agreement ends in 2019.  

Announced as part of the chancellor’s final Budget before the general election, it was stated that electrification would be complete by the end of Network Rail’s Control Period 6. 

£3.3m of public money has been spent to develop the project, but it will be substantially funded by the private sector. 

Earlier this month the Northern Electrification Task Force recommended 12 lines for electrification across the north of the country, including Selby to Hull. 

A spokesperson for Hull Trains told RTM that the news on electrification will be welcomed by the region at large. 

“In essence, the statement today is simply confirmation of what the North of England Task Force reported back on in early March,” she said. 

“As you would expect the timescales suggested by the government are what will come under scrutiny by many who have supported electrification thus far. At present, our own track access ends in 2019 and we are mindful to continue exploring all electrification options as we seek to develop a long-term secure future for our business and the passengers who rely on us.” 

A Department for Transport spokesman told us: “The government is supportive of this scheme. We are working closely with First Hull Trains and Amey to explore options and agree plans for work to begin as soon as possible.”

RTM has contacted Network Rail about the announcement, but at the time of publication had received no reply. 

(Image: c. Joshua Brown)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Neil Palmer   19/03/2015 at 17:01

If I were running First I'd tell the government it's complete by the end of 2019 or say goodbye to our £94m.

John Gilbert   20/03/2015 at 01:21

So this inspired scheme to put right a wrong, (leaving Hull off the electrification map completely,) has now slid backwards to 2024. This is so typical of British bureaucracy in which anything inspired is suffocated by Westminster and Whitehall. They just cannot CONCEIVE of anything inspired and ambitious. Development seemed to be going so well too, until our friend the Chancellor stood up to speak. Then goodbye Drive - get back in your box you upstart planners. Talk has won: achievement has lost. Par for the course where Westminster is concerned.

David Faircloth   24/03/2015 at 02:31

Whilst I understand the sentiments expressed already, is completion by the end of 2019 realistic? Projects already approved are slipping backwards, and I doubt there are the resources available to complete Selby - Hull until well after 2019, although a delay of five years does seem excessive

Graham Nalty   27/03/2015 at 18:04

Where there is a will, there is a way. Where there is the DfT, there is a delay. The Hull electrification could be losing its priority to other projects that the DfT considers to bring a faster return on investment.

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