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Rail minister dodges Hull to Selby electrification progress question

The fate of the Hull to Selby electrification project is still unknown after Claire Perry, under-secretary to the Department for Transport, refused to answer local MPs’ questions about it.

During Perry’s appearance before the House of Commons, Diana Johnson, the Labour MP for Kingston-upon-Hull, asked why the department had made no progress on the privately-funded £100m scheme in the past two years despite committing to much more expensive schemes that will mainly benefit the south of England, such as Crossrail 2.

Johnson asked: “If [Perry] is really serious about the northern powerhouse, why can she not get a wriggle on and get this privately financed scheme to happen?”

Perry did not answer the question, instead joking that Johnson’s use of ‘wriggle’ was “Humberside for a wiggle” and pointing to existing commitments the government had made to railways in the north, including the new franchise with Arriva and £1.4m investment in Hull’s station before it becomes the UK city of culture next year.

John Pugh, Liberal Democrat MP for Southport, asked why the Southport to Manchester line had been prioritised for electrification but Southport might lose a direct link to Manchester Piccadilly.

Perry said she didn’t know the answer and would get back to him. The rail minister also said that the current government have electrified almost as many miles of track in the past six years as the previous government did in 13.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority will discuss a report raising concerns about ongoing delays to the TransPennine electrification project at its meeting today.

The Rail Delivery Group said in their latest rolling stock strategy that an ongoing electrification project is vital to accommodate the expected massive growth of the UK’s rail fleet.

In the April/May edition of RTM, which will be hitting desks shortly, we interviewed Will Dunnett, managing director at Hull Trains, who discussed the need to deliver the Hull to Selby electrification by at least 2024, if not before.

(Image c. Joshua Brown)


Andrew Gwilt   29/04/2016 at 14:54

So electrification to Hull could promote newer trains to run on both electric and diesel as new Bi-Mode Hitachi Class 802 IEP trains are to be built. The Midland Main Line electrification to Sheffield, Nottingham and Derby could start next year or in 2018 north of Bedford.

David   30/04/2016 at 17:40

Andrew. Why would trains run on diesel if the line has been electrified?

Andrew Gwilt   30/04/2016 at 17:48

Well Bi-Mode trains can run on electrified and non-electrified lines unless Class 802 are only to be electric operation only running on AC 25kv Overhead.

Chris M   01/05/2016 at 02:42

First Hull Trains originally offered to electrify one of the routes from north of Doncaster to Hull. However they are now ordering new bi-mode AT300 trains from Hitachi. I suspect that they will no care much if the line via Selby is electrified or not, as the main financial benefit of electric traction was always on the 125mph ECML, where the bi-modes will run on electricity.. MML is supposed to be electrified from Bedford to Corby by late 2019. I bet that date will slip.

Joe   03/05/2016 at 22:55

The Electricification of the north Humberside line won't mean Hull Trains will use electric trains, remember some services start in Beverley now. It only effects East Coast services totally.

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