Latest Rail News

05.03.15

Network Rail deems North Wales electrification ‘poor value for money’

Network Rail has proposed a number of capacity upgrades to the railway in Wales in the next control period and the longer term, including a major redevelopment of Cardiff Central station, improving line speeds and adding more capacity.

The proposals form part of the Welsh Route Study Draft for Consultation, and provide funders with options for Control Period 6. However, electrification of the North Wales Coast Main Line, a much-cited priority for the Welsh government and regional authorities, has been deemed “poor value for money” by Network Rail.

The plans would deliver a fully electrified railway between North Wales and London, Liverpool (assuming Halton Chord is also electrified) and Manchester.

But the report says appraisals have been carried to out to asses assess the financial viability of various options for the North Wales Coast and the “options assessed represent a poor value for money case for investment in CP6”.

The study covers the railway in Wales as well as the bordering counties. It has been developed collaboratively with the Welsh government, the Department for Transport and train and freight operating companies.

Tim James, head of strategy and planning for Network Rail Wales, said: “Our railway is carrying almost 50% more passengers than we were 10 years ago and that number is predicted to grow significantly in the years ahead.

“Work we are already doing over the next five years will make a huge difference, including electrifying parts of the railway and installing new signalling to help deliver improved reliability and the potential for more and faster journeys. There is still more to do to meet future demand.

“The Welsh Route Study Draft for Consultation sets out a number of investment choices for funders to meet increased passenger and freight demand, including a major redevelopment of Cardiff Central station and plans to modernise the railway across North Wales. Investment across the route will help to improve journeys for passengers and help to build a bigger and better railway that Wales and the borders can be proud of.”

Potential options identified by the study, which will inform funding decisions for the period 2019 to 2024, include:

  • Enhancing Cardiff Central Station to create a station ‘fit for a capital city’
  • Modernisation of the North Wales Coast Main Line between Crewe and Holyhead
  • The provision of additional passenger capacity on Cardiff Valley Lines services during peak periods and associated platform lengthening
  • A phased programme of further network enhancements on Cardiff Valley Lines and further development of Cardiff Capital City Metro proposals for rail
  • A line speed upgrade on Relief Lines between Severn Tunnel Junction and Cardiff
  • A programme of level crossing closures in west Wales
  • The continuation of additional peak services on Heart of Wales line
  • Train lengthening on selected Marches Line services between Cardiff and Manchester
  • Improved line speeds on North Wales Coast Main Line
  • Development of a new interchange station at Shotton
  • Further network capacity enhancements between Wrexham and Chester
  • Improved line speeds between Wrexham and Bidston for connections to Liverpool
  • The continuation of additional peak services on the Cambrian line

The study also considers the longer term strategy to 2043, building on the choices set out to 2024. It assesses the role that the introduction of new technology, such as future deployment of European Train Control System, might play in delivering improved safety and reliability, and providing additional capacity in the future.

The draft study is a consultation document and members of the public are encouraged to have their say during the consultation period, which ends on 9 June 2015.

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

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Scrap HS2 and use its £56bn budget to fund 28 alternative projects, urges TPA

14/05/2019Scrap HS2 and use its £56bn budget to fund 28 alternative projects, urges TPA

Scrapping the £56bn HS2 project could pave the way for 28 separate local infrastructure schemes to be funded instead with the case “g... more >
DfT calls for new technology to transform transport accessibility, but union warns against ‘faceless’ railway

14/05/2019DfT calls for new technology to transform transport accessibility, but union warns against ‘faceless’ railway

The DfT has called for new technologies to revolutionise travel for older people and those with disabilities, but the RMT has “reacted with... more >
First leg of HS2 ‘passing the point of no return’ due to amount of money already invested, says NAO head

13/05/2019First leg of HS2 ‘passing the point of no return’ due to amount of money already invested, says NAO head

HS2 is on the “verge of passing the point of no return” and the amount of money spent would make scrapping the flagship project &ldqu... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Making the railways safer and more reliable with Ze-Power

13/05/2019Making the railways safer and more reliable with Ze-Power

Professor Meiling Zhu, chair of mechanical engineering and head of the Energy Harvesting Research Group (EHRG) at the University of Exeter, intro... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

13/05/2019The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), gives her view on the state of the UK’s ... more >
NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

13/05/2019NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) chief executive Neil Robertson returns to write for RTM, this time, to assess the digital skills shor... more >
Delivering cost-effective electrification

13/05/2019Delivering cost-effective electrification

David Clarke, technical director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), sets out the findings of a new report on how rail electrification can... more >
5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

13/05/20195G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector.  ... more >