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Network Rail pulls Midland Main Line and TransPennine electrification from CP5 plans

The elecrification schemes for the Midland Main Line and TransPennine routes by Network Rail have officially been “paused”, the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin has announced, in order for work on the over-budget and delayed Great Western Main Line electrification to be completed.

“Electrification of the Great Western Line is a top priority and I want Network Rail to concentrate its efforts on getting that right” said McLoughlin.

London Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy will also join NR as Chairman, replacing Professor Richard Parry-Jones, who will stand down at the end of a three-year term in July.

The announcement took place on the same day that NR released its annual report on its latest performance. Chief Executive Mark Carne said that the organisation was “overly optimistic” about the capacity of the company and its supplier base to step up several gears in order to achieve the plans for Control Period 5, especially given the complexities of a network that is at full capacity much of the time.”

Reacting to McLoughlin's statement to the House of Commons, Rail Delivery Group Director General Michael Roberts said NR had been set some “highly ambitious targets and improvement plans which we now know have proved too optimistic” on an increasingly busy network.

Transport Focus Chief Executive Anthony Smith said that “passengers will be disappointed by this announcement”, adding that they would now want a “clear plan of action, setting out exactly when Network Rail will start to deliver some of the promised improvements.

"They want to know that somebody is getting to grips with this".

  • For more on this story, read RAIL 778, published on July 8. For background on this story, read Stop and Examine in RAIL 777, published on June 24.
  • For more comment and analysis on the rail industry – subscribe to RAIL.

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  • Steve Ottevanger - 25/06/2015 17:08

    Presumably, with electrification of TransPennine delayed (at best) we Northern customers will have to put up with the appalling Pacers for even longer.

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  • J Marsden - 25/06/2015 21:21

    Here we go again north gets shafted by the DfT just so they can travel to work in new trains on an electrified line. Why not postpone GW line instead of MMl and TPE. Cannot wait to see how north will get shafted again when Northern and TPE franchises winners are announced. Bet 142 get life extentions as well if they do then send them to Chiltern. Don't think fares will not go up either the Tory fatcats in the TOCs and Roscos will see to that

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  • Anthony Sneath - 26/06/2015 19:36

    Looks like Network Rail has bitten off more than it can chew. My thoughts are that alot of the North has problems caused by geography, old mineworkings and (self inflicted) neglect. The way around this is to start with the easier bits, eg East of Leeds and the Midland MainLine up to Nottingham/Derby which should keep things ticking over until the staff from the Great Western are released

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  • Julian Harvey - 26/06/2015 22:01

    So much for the Northern Powerhouse. Meanwhile nothing gets paused in the SE. Why not pause E-W rail instead of Trans-Pennine?

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  • Andrew Gwilt - 28/06/2015 11:06

    Does that mean other electrification projects is also paused like the electrification for the Gospel Oak-Barking line in London would be affected or is the GOBLIN electrification is not being affected and is planned to be electrified with London Overground ordering new EMU trains (Class 378 Capitalstar) and the extension to Barking Riverside with new tracks & electrification in place as the electrification on the GOBLIN is to start from next year.

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  • Andrew Gwilt - 28/06/2015 11:08

    Does that mean other electrification projects is also paused like the electrification for the Gospel Oak-Barking line in London would be affected or is the GOBLIN electrification is not being affected and is planned to be electrified with London Overground ordering new EMU trains (Class 378 Capitalstar) and the extension to Barking Riverside with new tracks & electrification in place as the electrification on the GOBLIN is to start from next year.

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  • Andrew Gwilt - 29/06/2015 01:13

    So the Gospel Oak-Barking line which is to be electrified is not affected and will get the go ahead to start seeing new overhead catenaries & equipment and overhead wires to be erected and station platforms to be lengthened for 4-car London Overground trains on the Gospel Oak-Barking line. Plus the overhead wiring renewals on the GEML is also not affected which new overhead wires & catenary equipments are to be erected and to replace the existing overhead wires & catenaries between Stratford-Ilford-Romford-Shenfield section and on the Southend Victoria line between Shenfield & Southend Victoria to have the existing catenaries and overhead wires to be replaced by new overhead wires and catenary equipments.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 29/06/2015 01:19

    Suppose that the Gospel Oak-Barking line in London will get the go ahead to be electrified.

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    • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 29/06/2015 01:19

      Plus the extension to Barking Riverside will also be electrified with new tracks included.

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  • J Marsden - 30/06/2015 08:31

    Wed 30/06/2015 just announced that £1.5billiuon will be spent on Northwest Motorways to create smart motorways. Where has that money come from? Transpennine electrification maybe, roads lobby wins again so short sighted.

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  • John Rudkin - 05/07/2015 10:02

    How will this affect the new bridge at Loughborough for the Great Central railway?

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  • Ben H - 10/07/2015 20:50

    I call upon RAIL readers to put forward solutions such as these to allow service strengthening whilst electrification is delayed. The Class 800 bi-mode high speed trains should be delivered immediately in 9-car sets to the East Coast to replace all Intercity 125s, which would be added to the Great Western fleet. Most services on the Fast lines to Reading could use 125mph stock. The Class 165 and 166 DMUs would be cascaded to release Class 150s from Avon and South Wales, or to Chiltern to operate the Birmingham Snow Hill Lines alongside Vivarail D-trains.

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  • Ben H - 10/07/2015 20:52

    Other uses for Class 800, to cascade more 125mph diesels: - the Midland Main Line between London St Pancras [electrified up to Bedford] and Corby. - the Cross Country service between Manchester and Reading (electrified as far south as Coventry, with 100mph or less to Reading), and Manchester-Birmingham-Bristol.

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  • Ben H - 10/07/2015 20:54

    Other suggestions for strengthening services despite electrification delays: If construction is not yet underway, the batch of Class 387/2 should be built with batteries to operate on non-electrified sections, as does the retrofitted Class 379. The 110 mph Class 387s from Thameslink could go to East Coast and operate the all-stations London King's Cross to York. Alternatively they could temporarily operate from London Liverpool Street to Norwich (until replaced by new 125mph stock), releasing some of Anglia's Mark 3 push-pull rakes to be worked by diesel locomotives. The Vivarail 'D Train' initial use could be Whitlocks End - Birmingham Moor St - Stourbridge Junction. Other lines such as South Transpennine would benefit more from the current 100mph Class 172s. Class 170s on the Rugeley - Birmingham route could be swapped for Northern Rail's Class 155s, by sending the '170s' to Scotrail, cascading Scotrail Class 158s, and replacing '155s' at Northern with faster '158s'.

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