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Concern over suggestion of electrification delays

Suggestions that electrification could be delayed in the High Level Output Specification (HLOS) due on July 20 have been criticised by West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

An article in the Sunday Times suggested that electrification of the trans-Pennine route between Manchester and Leeds could be delayed due to budget constraints. Sources close to the Department for Transport have hinted at this in past, while electrification of the Midland Main Line north of Corby was not mentioned in the franchise specification issued last year for the East Midlands franchise.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chairman Keith Wakefield said: “If Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is, as the Sunday Times reported, preparing to delay the upgrade of this crucial rail link, it really does raise a question mark about the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse and narrowing the economic gap between north and south."

A DfT spokesman told RAIL: “We do not comment on speculation. Passengers expect high-quality rail services and we are committed to electrification where it benefits passengers.

“We are investing around £40 billion in our network as part of the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century to provide faster journeys and more comfortable trains.”

  • For more on this, and Industry Insider's view on HLOS, read RAIL 831, published on July 19.

 

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  • James miller - 11/07/2017 15:45

    I am convinced that we will see some new trains that will cut the need for electrification. Porterbrook's 769 bi-modes seem to be on track for the end of the year. I also am certain that Aventras have a battery option and it has alreaady led to a sinpler design at Abbey Wood.

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    • FrankH - 12/07/2017 22:44

      New or re engineered. There is going to be ample good quality MK3 bodied disability compliant EMU's available once the new orders start coming through. The 3rd rail only ones (bi mode them) can be used to bridge the gaps where there is no 3rd rail. The 25KV/3rd rail ones as in the 319's have an abundance of potential in the north west and yorkshire areas. The only stipulation is that they have to be able to run at 100 mph when on the WCML.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 11/07/2017 19:06

    The Gospel Oak-Barking and Chase Line incline electrification will still continue aswell the GW electrification. Midland Main Line electrification might not happen until 2020 or 2021 and yes the Class 319 "Flex" (Class 769) EDMU Bi-Mode units will be on both electrified and non-electrified lines in the North of England and to allow the Class 769's to go further such as Manchester Piccadilly/Victoria to Blackpool South, Sunderland, Hull, York, Hartlepool, Scarborough, Leeds, Harrogate and Middlesbrough. And possibly Manchester to Lincoln, Grimsby and Sheffield.

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  • Simon Eames1990 - 11/07/2017 22:16

    Vital electrification projects are given more red lights as HS2 gets more green lights. HS2 costs at least £56 billion while the entire National Rail upgrade costs at least £32 billion! Scrap HS2 and invest more in these cheaper projects that will benefit more passengers.

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  • Noam Bleicher - 12/07/2017 11:04

    It's true that bi-modes and maybe battery trains will get us out of our current pickle James, but both of these options have a weight and maintenance cost penalty. There really is no substitute for wide-ranging electrification over the next 20-30 years. It has worked for decades in other countries, as well as in large parts of the UK.

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  • BigTone - 14/07/2017 14:50

    My own thoughts. Start electrifying lines around the Leeds area similar to what is being done in the North West and then meet the North West in the middle (I think the "over the hills" bit will need the most work). Leeds to York fills a missing link on the ECML. As for the Midland, electrification only begins to make sense if it reaches Nottingham and Derby. I have said before there is a need for Inter-City bimodes (Class 802?) on this route (and Liverpool - Norwich) also 319 flex (or similar) for more local services. As Nottingham was recently re signalled and a new track layout ready for electrification, start the next phase of the electrification from there (and to Grantham as a gap filler)

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    • FrankH - 20/07/2017 21:54

      Midland route to Sheffield, Cardiff to Swansea and the Windermere branch cancelled.

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  • BigTone - 20/07/2017 13:22

    Just announced on the BBC. Midland Mainline Electrification scrapped

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