Posted 21st December 2021 | 6 Comments

Midland Main Line electrification begins

Midland Main Line electrification begins

Work will start on extending electrification on the Midland Main Line this week, taking the wires northward from Kettering to Market Harborough. This additional section had already been authorised to connect with a main feeder point, but the start of work on 24 December will now be the first stage of the much larger project to continue electrification onwards to Derby, Sheffield and Nottingham, which was set out in the government's Integrated Rail Plan last month. Meanwhile, electrification and resignalling of the line between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge will also move ahead over the Christmas and New Year break, when Network Rail will be carrying out more than 300 projects to improve the railway.

Integrated Rail Plan a 'disappointment', says rail users' group

The chairman of the Lakes Line Rail User Group Robert Talbot has spoken out against the Integrated Rail Plan, highlighting its lack of improvements for Cumbria. He said: 'Lots of words but no action plan to address the issues. It shouldn't surprise me because like so many others – the Manchester Recovery Task Force to name but one recent relevant local example – those who respond to the request for consultation are basically ignored.' The Group says in its latest newsletter that the Plan is a 'disappointment', because it lacks any schemes to increase freight capacity on the West Coast Main Line, and also any upgrade for the congested Castlefield corridor in central Manchester

Final assembly of first new Tyne & Wear Metro train

The first of 46 new trains for Tyne & Wear Metro has reached the final assembly stage at Stadler's St Margrethen plant in Switzerland. The work includes the installation of wheels, seats, equipment cases, piping, wiring, flooring, windows and other internal furnishings. 

TfL signs mobile phones deal

Mobile phone companies Three and EE are joining the BAI Communications network to provide 4G and 5G-ready mobile signals on the London Underground. The networks have signed a 20-year concession with Transport for London which will cover trains and stations.

Deputy Mayor for transport in London steps down

Deputy Mayor for London transport Heidi Alexander is to step down, Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced. She had planned to leave her post at the end of Mr Khan's first term earlier this year, but stayed on to help secure TfL’s latest funding settlement from the government, which now runs until 4 February. The new Deputy Mayor for Transport is former MEP Seb Dance. Mr Khan has paid tribute to his outgoing Deputy Mayor, particularly for her work in 'tirelessly leading TfL through the pandemic'.

Reader Comments:

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

  • Graham Wood, Swindon

    Why not finish the electrification to Oxford first? It is only five miles or so.
    [I seem to remember that the plan was to electrify from Didcot Parkway to Nuneaton via Leamington Spa and Coventry as part of the ill-fated 'electric spine', not just from Didcot to Oxford.--Ed.]

  • david c smith, Bletchley

    How many remember APT ? Another instance of " invented by the Brits but produced by others". (APT was conceived in UK, as a high speed intercity tilting train, circa 1968, but BR gave up, and FIAT in Italy took it on , eventually selling it back to us as "Pendolino").

  • John Gilbert, Cradley

    No Steve., it's not that our recent governments cannot plan long-term, but that they have no liking for ANY long-term investment, anything which goes much beyond a 5 year Parliament, and that includes electrification obviously - you can't electrify a line overnight. But yes, you are right, this country cannot 'do' electrification, even faced with Global Warming and so on. Why do you think we are a country with only 38% of its railway electrified? (Compare with European countries.) As has been said elsewhere, British - no, ENGLISH politicians - are congenitally opposed to rail wiring. (Mind you the ghastly GW scheme played directly into their hands!)

  • Dave Barry, Wallasey

    what a shame that in the cradle of world railways that we have to go to a foreign country to have our trains built (probably with, like Merseytravel, very little UK content)

  • Dave Barry, Wallasey

    Re the Northern powerehouse disappointment. I have thought for a long time now that the cluster of towns and cities in Lancashire and Yorkshire simply do not lend themselves to highspeed trains. The communities are very close to each other and acceleration and decelerations would be extremely frequent making very high speed travel difficult. Even if the major cities only were connected towns such as Halifax,Rochdale and Huddersfield would not be, big populations miss out.

  • Steve, Milton Keynes

    MML "begins"! After being proposed in 2012. Cancelled after the 2015 election after being promised. Then uncancelled. Then curtailed to Corby. The original proposal timeline would've had Corby electrified by 2017, and to Sheffield by 2020. The E Mids have had a double whammy of HS2 cancellation and MML electrification delays, and it's poor for the region. It's almost as if these successive Tory governments can't plan long-term 🤔