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Conservatives present vision for UK’s rail network

The Conservative Party’s newly-revealed election manifesto details Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s proposals for the future of the UK’s rail network.

Much of the Party’s plan focuses on reinvesting savings from the scrapped Phases 2a and 2b of HS2 and funding alternative projects including Northern Powerhouse Rail and the Midlands Rail Hub.

The manifesto also states the Conservatives’ commitment to all of the schemes set out in the Network North Command Paper.

The Conservatives pledge to reinvest every penny saved by the cancellation of the northern leg of HS2 on projects in the North and Midlands, which is calculated as a total of £36 billion of investment.

The manifesto states specifically that some of this investment will be directed towards the full electrification of the section of Northern Powerhouse Rail heading towards Hull, and will also fund a new station in Bradford.

The Party’s new plan for Euston Station will also open up £6.5 billion for rail investment elsewhere in the country.

Conservative Party's rail pledges

The Conservatives have pledged a further £12 billion on top of the HS2 savings to deliver the section of Northern Powerhouse Rail between Liverpool and Manchester.

Meanwhile, the Party will provide a £1.75 billion investment into the Midlands Rail Hub to fund the project in full. This will mean faster and more frequent services at 50 stations, and will halve journey times between Nottingham and Leeds.

Another headline investment will see The North Wales Main Line receive £1 billion to finance an electrification programme.

Elsewhere in the UK, the South West will see upgrades to its rail network, while the Energy Coast Line in Cumbria and the Ely Junction scheme in East Anglia will also receive investment.

Following on from the restoration of the Dartmoor Line, the Conservatives will reopen Beeching lines and stations to reconnect communities across the country.

The Government also recently announced a list of 50 new stations selected for initial feasibility work, with the prospect of being granted Access for All funding (AfA). The new manifesto pledges to double the number of stations under consideration for AfA funding to 100.

Image credit: iStock

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