Latest Rail News

12.08.13

Electrification plans for Cumbria line

The Windermere branch line should be electrified, the Government has proposed.

The £16m scheme would electrify ten miles of track on the West Coast Mainline in Cumbria, and would allow electric trains to run straight from Manchester to the Lake District. 

Network Rail will be responsible for the work and will deliver detailed plans with passenger train operators when the proposal has had its business case approved. 

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin: “This is a key line to one of the most important tourist areas in the UK and I believe the rail industry has a role in making sure more people can travel comfortably to enjoy the beautiful lakes.

“I recognise that strong rail links across the country are important drivers in our economic recovery at a national and regional level that is why we are pushing ahead with the biggest programmes of rail electrification ever.” 

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for transport, said: “Electrification would bring this vital railway into the 21st Century and would be great news for both rail users and the county’s economy. We have been working long and hard through the Lakes Line Community Rail Partnership to help secure this investment and welcome the Government’s announcement giving broad support to the project. 

“This has been a joint lobbying effort from Cumbria involving the Lake Line Rail Users Group, local MPs and businesses, Cumbria Tourism, Network Rail and TransPennine Express, and I’d like to praise all their efforts which are now starting to pay dividends. The county council will be supporting Network Rail and TransPennine Express to put forward the strongest and most robust business case which underlines the compelling case for electrification of the line.” 

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