Posted 20th October 2010 | 5 Comments

Crossrail, northern electrification survive budget cuts

THE Chancellor has told the House of Commons that a number of major railway upgrades have survived the government's spending review. Crossrail is to go ahead, as expected, but electrification will also be carried out between Manchester, Liverpool and Preston.

Other rail projects surviving the axe include the expansion of Midland Metro, the modernisation of Tyne & Wear Metro, and upgrades on London Underground.

However, nothing has been said about main line electrification, despite rumours that the Midland Main Line was poised to replace the Great Western Main Line at the top of the list.

The Chancellor said he had only announced some of the projects, and that more details would follow.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Paul, Carlisle, UK

    When I moved to Carlisle in 1974 all trains had carriages and where hauled by proper Electric locomotives. You can count on one hand the number of electric trains passing through Cumbria today. It seem ironic that after the 9billion pound spend/waste on the Wst Coast upgrade, services on the northern section are actually worse and mostly Diesel powered.

  • Billy, Paisley, UK

    Manchester - Scotland services should still serve Bolton after electrification. Surely the best and direct route is the current route via Chorley? Both Wigan and Bolton could be served via Lostock jcn, however this would add extra minutes to the journey. As Wigan already has services to Scotland and Manchester, Bolton via Chorley must be the obvious choice.

    This would also allow London - Glasgow services to be routed via Manchester and Bolton. It is a short sighted view not to wire the chorley route.

  • Mike Breslin, Liverpool, UK

    Whilst it is good news, reading between the lines it would seem that the Lancashire Triangle electrification is still linked with the proposed new EMUs for Thameslink. Therefore, I suspect that commencement of the physical work - erecting masts etc - will not now start for at least a year or two, due to the apparent delay in delivery of the class 319s to Northern.

  • David Spencer, Bolton, UK

    At one time Bolton (my home town) used to play host to Britannias and Patriots hauling 10 carriage "Glassies" to Scotland. Now we have 3 car class 185 dmus. However it seems certain that Bolton will not be having any direct Scottish services after electrification so the point about railcars may not apply anymore. I do think however that the Manchester - Scotland through trains via Wigan North Western (avoiding Bolton) should be Pendolinos or converted Voyagers.

  • John Gilbert, Cradley, Herefordshire, England

    With electrification of the " Lancashire Triangle" opportunities for through electric trains between Liverpool, Manchester, Blackpool and Scotland will exist - and not before time!! However we now need (1) the diesel-electric Voyagers to be converted to Bi-Mode electric-diesel configuration, and (2) through trains to Scotland to be Pendolino tilting trains. It is clearly intolerable for only London to benefit from tilting trains south from the North-West when the lines NORTH of Lancashire would benefit equally from their use. Suburban, or even outer-suburban EMU units are definitely NOT suitable for fast through services from Liverpool and Manchester to Glasgow.