Latest Rail News

01.08.13

‘No space’ for Blackpool or Shrewsbury-London services on WCML

Virgin Train’s bid to run direct services from Shrewsbury to London has been rejected by the ORR.

The track access application sought additional services to Blackpool and Shrewsbury on the West Coast Main Line, but the regulator judged the route is already too busy.

Analysis showed there was “not currently sufficient space on the line” and evidence the proposal would have further damaged punctuality. Network Rail upgrades to the WCML are expected to allow opportunities for new services in the future, the ORR said.

ORR chief executive, Richard Price said: “We understand that many people will be disappointed that ORR cannot at this stage give the go-ahead for new direct train services from London to Blackpool and Shrewsbury. We recognise the public support for these proposals, however our analysis shows the introduction of new services would see performance deteriorate on this key route for passengers.

“Although we are unable to grant access right now, we are putting pressure on Network Rail both to improve its performance and to carry out improvements on the West Coast Main Line so that the question of new services from London to Blackpool and Shrewsbury can be looked at again as soon as possible.”

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

Image of Shrewsbury station c. PhotoOptikChristopher 

Comments

Brian   02/08/2013 at 17:51

Ever the cynic, I find NR's resistance to these services very . . . . . . . .(how should I out it) convenient for Virgin.

John   02/08/2013 at 18:09

Shrewsbury - London re-route via Birmingham south loop and former GWR route via Leamington Spa, Banbury, Bicester and into either Paddington or Marylebone, you won't need WCML. Simples!

John   02/08/2013 at 18:10

Shrewsbury - London re-route via Birmingham south loop and former GWR route via Leamington Spa, Banbury, Bicester and into either Paddington or Marylebone, you won't need WCML. Simples!

Alan   03/08/2013 at 00:43

Its time the government and network rail reopens lines that was once closed, as they would not only help with train movement, but allow communities that once had their station closed able to travel. A few are Somerset and Dorset, Woodhead,Dumfries to Stranraer, plus others that once took rail traffic avoiding the WCML. The HS2 is good in principle, but with all these closed lines about, then it would be a good idea to let people and industry to be able to move again. The reason we have a huge crisis due to no space is cause most lines was removed in the 60s due to Beeching cutting off communities, and slimming the ones down to minimal.

Nonsuchmike   03/08/2013 at 19:23

John is right. An alternative would be to run the Blackpool service via Preston, Wigan, Warrington, Runcorn, Chester, Wrexham, Shrewsbury, Telford, North or South Brum then re-joining his suggested rout through Banbury etc to Marylebone. Or even down through west London to Clapham Junction? My wife and I loved the recent attempt to give quality service from M'Bone to Wrexham, so greatly miss this wonderful attempt at putting the customer FIRST.

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