Latest Rail News

12.11.15

North Wales devolved rail body to tackle electrification

Welsh leaders attending a rail summit today (12 November) in Llandudno are set to refine and agree to details of a major new body designed to drive forward rail modernisation in North Wales.

The summit, attended by rail minister Claire Perry MP, will also reveal the creation of a task force headed by local authorities, the Welsh Government and businesses.

The group will float proposals by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board (NWEAB), made up of leading regional forms, to the UK government in an effort to make a convincing case for the devolved body.

It will particularly focus on the need to electrify the line to North Wales by 2027 to benefit from HS2 links to London when the high speed line reaches Crewe.

According to the Daily Post, Rebecca Maxwell, of the NWEAB, said electrifying the North Wales coastal rail line will cost less than £800m, a “small amount” to pay for the budding economic benefits to the region.

And Wales office minister, Alun Cairns, also argued that the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse creates the ideal setting to design a modern transport network that North Wales firms need in order to benefit from northern improvements.

At the summit, Perry is expected to say: “Passengers will benefit from better journeys thank to our planned signalling improvements on the line between Flint and Holyhead, while the Halton Curve link will create direct regular services between North Wales and Liverpool for the first time in decades.

“Devolving the Wales and Borders franchise will also help ensure local needs are met. But as we look ahead to the future, it is vital that Welsh people, leaders and businesses work together to make a clear case for further improvements.”

Despite the momentum, Network Rail has previously come forward saying appraisals have been carried out to assess the financial viability of various options for the North Wales Coast and that “options assessed represent a poor value for money case for investment in CP6”.

Comments

Noam   13/11/2015 at 08:26

The line does not need electrifying before it needs a major upgrade to increase speed and frequency. 75 mph and most trains running all stops is totally inadequate, and the overcrowding you get east of Llandudno is testament to this. We need 100 mph running and a mix of fast and stopping services, with fast trains running from Holyhead to Crewe all day, not just when Virgin can be bothered.

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