Latest Rail News

09.07.15

TransPennine electrification delay 'a major concern’ – TfN

Transport for the North (TfN) says it remains “very concerned” that no announcement has been made about the electrification of the Leeds-Manchester railway line. 

During yesterday’s Summer Budget, the chancellor announced that the government would pledge £30m in funding for TfN over the next three years

But interim TfN chair Sir Richard Leese, who is also leader of Manchester City Council, said that while TfN can now look to the development of long-term plans, it must have a commitment from government that TransPennine electrification works will “take place – and soon”. 

He added: “Let us not forget that the delivery of a Northern Powerhouse is a key government pledge and while TfN will deliver a better connected and more productive north in the years ahead – we must also think of the here and now and the fact that existing rail links need to be improved as a matter of priority. 

“If this is not done the government will not have delivered on its pledge and all their words will simply be seen as empty promises. To that end I would urge them to ensure that the funding is available for this vital work.” 

RTM recently reported that the planned TransPennine electrification, due to be completed by 2018, has been delayed “indefinitely”. 

Although George Osborne’s Summer Budget omitted any update on the project, the prime minister promised that “paused” improvements to the rail route will be carried out. 

During yesterday’s prime minister’s questions, Stalybridge & Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds told the PM a decision to “indefinitely pause” the works meant his constituents faced years of “delayed trains, cramped journeys and less frequent services”. 

But David Cameron replied: “This is a pause not a stop. We are absolutely committed to making sure this goes ahead and we also want to get rid of the Pacer trains that were there all those years under Labour.” 

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

Comments

Jb   09/07/2015 at 12:33

I guess the electrification of the Diggle route may be difficult with its restricted tunnels. My proposal would be to introduce HSTs to restore the level of service required without electrification. Reconnect Skipton to Colne to provide another much needed transpennine route and restore an electrified Woodhead route. These should provide ample transport links across the North once more for our Northern Powerhouse and be far more appreciated than a phenominally expensive an unnecessary HS2.

Mike Roebuck   10/07/2015 at 11:54

More empty promises from a Tory Government that neither understands nor cares about the North. This means more years of outdated, misused Pacers and overcrowding, especially into/out of Leeds and Manchester. Population growth and consequent increasing demand for transport are the main drivers and these are just not being catered for. Quite apart from this, what happens to jobs in engineering firms if the rolling programme of electrification comes to an end - and what happens to the planned cascade of rolling stock? More scrap metal for Chinese industry and train operators being faced with new procurement, with consequent long lead times, instead?

Danianscorpio   10/07/2015 at 12:31

Why not used a 'combination' of overhead lines and '3rd Rail through Tunnels' concept?................maybe an over simplification of an idea but could be a WORLD FIRST and export the idea abroad where similar problems occur?

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