Should enhancements to current routes take place, the South West Peninsula Rail Taskforce believes that a 39-minute journey time saving between Paddington and Truro could be possible by 2023, cutting times from the typical present time of 4hrs 39mins to an even four hours.
Wider electrification will be critical to this, and the report says: “Electrification needs to be extended throughout the peninsula to enable the whole South West to realise its potential benefits and spark additional development. The potential for the South West, which has a far greater population and economy than South Wales, would be significant.”
Electrification to Paignton, Plymouth and Penzance in addition to Exeter-Bristol is targeted for Control Period 7 (2024-2029), as is implementation of the northern route via Okehampton.
- For more on this, read RAIL 786, published on October 28.