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16.09.15

‘North west electrification will continue at pace,’ says transport minister

The transport minister Andrew Jones has stated that despite Balfour Beatty withdrawing from the north west electrification programme “a full transition plan is in place” to ensure delivery continues “at pace”. 

His statement comes after Lilian Greenwood, the now shadow transport secretary, asked what effect the withdrawal – as reported by RTM last month – will have on the delivery timetable. 

This seemed a relatively fair question as Nick Spall, Network Rail’s LNW route delivery director, previously told RTM: “We are having a look at all the programmes.” 

And this was before Farnworth Tunnel – an important enabler of electrification between Manchester and Preston – was delayed by up to two months due to “exceptionally poor ground conditions” when re-boring the tunnel

However, despite these issues, the transport minister seems upbeat saying: “We are fully committed to the North West electrification programme as part of our ambitious plans for the north of England.” 

It will be interesting to keep an eye on the north west electrification’s delivery timetable, especially as Network Rail couldn’t complete the Manchester to Liverpool electrification project on time. This then led to the delayed introduction of Northern Rail’s electric Class 319s entering service.

Comments

Barrie Russell   14/02/2017 at 19:29

There seems to be an anomaly in the South Fylde Area and I am not sure why. Balfour Beatly have stripped Blackpool Airport of its Terminal block and run it into the ground and the Government has seen fit not to "electrify" the South Fylde Line from Kirkham to Blackpool South. This seems to me that there are some issues that are having a detrimental effect on an extremity of the Northern Powerhouse!

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