Latest Rail News

09.08.13

Shrewsbury-London application relaunched

Virgin Trains has announced it will continue pushing for direct services from Blackpool and Shrewsbury to London. The last application was rejected by Network Rail and the ORR on the grounds that the route is already too busy.

Running more services would have a negative impact on train performance, the regulator agreed. But the ORR said the application should be looked at again “as soon as possible”, following Network Rail improvements.

Virgin Trains believes a new £40m commitment from Network Rail to improve infrastructure on the West Coast Main Line could allow direct services to be run. The measures include security fencing, changes to data storage and work with the Samaritans to minimise suicides on the line.

Phil Bearpark, Virgin Trains’ production director, said: “The May 2014 timetable changes are 10 months away and we expect Network Rail to significantly improve performance by then.

“The people of Blackpool and Shrewsbury have been absolutely clear about their desire to have a direct train link with London, an ambition we fully support and are working very hard to achieve.

“We have continued to work with Network Rail to ensure that they improve performance. It is now down to them to ensure that they honour their commitments on this and for the ORR to hold them to account.”

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

Comments

David   09/08/2013 at 17:55

Once the line to Blackpool is electrified then there is no problem with running out of Euston as the current 16.33, 20.30 & 21.10 could go forward from Preston direct to Blackpool. Also the 17.57 Lancaster service could divert to Blackpool As for running in the opposite direction, well a little more deeper reasearch is required but at leat we are half way to having a service. From Preston the 10.36 (FO) could become daily starting at Blackpool and the 09.23 Glasgow (Relief) 11.59 from Preston could be diverted to start from Blackpool so looking a the current srvices paths are available now. Plus the stock would noy need to go to Edge Hill or Longsight for servicing, as that role could also be undertaken at Blackpool, another problem solved? David

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