On this week’s episode of RTM’s Track Talk, host Ailsa Cowen is joined by Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect. Maria talks about the importance of HS2 to the Midlands and the UK, collaborating with DfT and how we need to embrace the railways again.
Maria discusses the importance of HS2 to the East Midlands and how it cannot, “be looked at as Phase 1, Phase 2… it needs to be looked at as a whole network. That’s what will make a real difference to the UK.”
She also talks about the Midlands collaboration with DfT, saying there has been, “an appetite for the government to work with the East Midlands in regards to future franchises, future timetabling but obviously in terms of what’s next we’re still waiting announcement from budget.”
Electrification is another big talking point, with Maria pointing out that only 30% of the network is able to carry electric trains, “in a climate change emergency this isn’t good enough.”
Passenger confidence needs to be reinstated and Maria is very aware of this obstacle, “we’ve got to give people a sense that this horrendous pandemic will go away.”
In terms of looking ahead to the future, Maria wishes for the “world to see Britain bring in again another revolution in terms of the green railway.”