Latest Rail News

28.06.13

Transport Committee welcomes electrification

The Government has confirmed electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking line in London, which has been warmly welcomed by rail campaigners.

Chancellor George Osborne announced on Wednesday that the DfT will be required to make 9% savings in its resource spending over 2015/16 – but the department will see its capital budget rise to £9.5bn. The railways are also set to benefit from new infrastructure projects, with more detail announced today by chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, from £50bn of investment in 2015.

The Government is “looking at the case” for Crossrail 2, Osborne said, and announced that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will take control of £9bn of capital spending to the end of the decade. HS2 will have a budget £10bn higher, chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said. The project will now cost £42.6bn.

Valerie Shawcross AM, chair of the Transport Committee, responded to the spending review: “Commuters on the Barking to Gospel Oak line have waited for many years for today’s announcement confirming electrification of their rail line. The Assembly welcomes this decision, which will benefit the journeys of thousands of passengers who have long endured an inferior service to those using other parts of the London Overground network.

“This decision will also bring the additional benefits of reducing the line’s environmental impact and improving connectivity with the rest of London’s rail.”

Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), added: “In a Spending Round dominated by a challenging economy, we welcome government’s moves to invest in Britain’s future by increasing capital spending, giving firm spending commitments to existing infrastructure projects and announcing new projects to expand industry’s forward pipeline. All of this will boost industry’s confidence in what are still difficult times.

“Confidence has been significantly boosted by the government’s moves to provide longer funding plans. This gives certainty to industry and investors over the long term, better fitting the cycle of infrastructure financing, planning and delivery. Moving funding beyond a parliamentary term does mean, however, securing cross party support to these plans. We therefore call on the Labour Party to endorse these longer funding plans to maintain this certainty and confidence.

“Industry has supported government’s renewed focus on infrastructure, but so far this good intention has been undermined by the ability to deliver projects. We await further detail, but allowing the expertise of the private sector to drive delivery forward can make the difference in getting projects from plans to being built. Industry is keen to engage with Lord Deighton and wider government on these plans to get projects delivered efficiently and effectively, now and in the future.”

Osborne’s full speech is available here and Alexander’s here.

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

Comments

Roger Capel   28/06/2013 at 13:26

It is also announced in HM Treasury's "Investing in Britain's Future" (out this morning) that the government is to formally ask Network Rail for a feasability study into wiring Oxenholme - Windermere. A lot of work has previously been done on this, some a far back as the early '70s (!) & I gather that it wouldn't need a substation. We have the shining example of Paisley Canal now, & one hopes we will be spared the idiocy of diesel 185s "under the wires" all the way from Manchester Airport to Oxenholme just to traverse the branch.

Ricp   30/06/2013 at 16:31

Gospel Oak - Barking AT LAST! The plaudits coming into the user group are unbelievably supportive. There was only one gripe from an individual at TfL who perhaps should have known better. This is not HiTech electrification, it would be good to have the track upgraded to 90kmph, that's 55mph so the line can accommodate increasing traffic from both the CTRL - HS1 route and the new London Gateway DP World container port. Check out the RUG website at www.barking-gospeloak.org.uk The question is, how long is this project going to take? What stock? 378s, a 376 clone, or temporarily go retro with the 313s back home?

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