Posted 5th December 2023 | 2 Comments

Tuesday briefing: Cautious welcome for 3.9bn Transpennine upgrade

Transpennine funding The Railway Industry Association has given a cautious welcome to the government’s confirmation of £3.9 billion to pay for the next stage of the Transpennine Route Upgrade. RIA chief executive Darren Caplan said: ‘As far as we understand this is not new money for rail and is not a new pipeline opportunity for rail suppliers. As the Government itself would say, TRU has been under development for more than a decade and is a key component of the 2021 Integrated Rail Plan for the North & Midlands and the Network North plan announced in October. The Railway Industry Association and our members now await the next business case update for TRU.’

Mayors’ rail initiative Metro Mayors Andy Street and Andy Burnham are joining forces to improve rail connections between the West Midlands and Greater Manchester, with the aid of former Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins. They have formed a private sector group led by Arup, which will concentrate on lines between Handsacre, where HS2 will now end, and Manchester. The work will examine costs, capacity and economic benefits.

Cardiff plan Network Rail has prepared a masterplan covering more than four hectares of former railway land, which is to be used as a ‘brownfield’ site for new houses near Cardiff Central station. Network Rail said it was one of the last parcels of land to be regenerated in the city centre, and that it had been a barrier to investment for other parts of the city for many years.

TikTok fine A fare evader who boasted on TikTok of making fraudulent journeys on East Midlands Railway and published ‘tips’ so that others could do the same, has been convicted under section 5 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 following a collaborative investigation between EMR and British Transport Police. She was fined £773.

Reader Comments:

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  • david C smith, Bletchley

    There do seem to be misgivings over many "schemes" that involve trying to "cut a dash" with the voting public. Unfortunately, most of us don't have the accountancy skills nor time to unravel it all.

    Perhaps this then begs a question of how can such possible machination be avoided ? It would probably be helpful, I guess if TOCs could be responsible for their own investment, under the influence of state incentivisory subsidy / charge,

  • Chris Jones-Bridger, Buckley Flintshire

    The Trans Pennine Upgrade is a clear example of why transparency is required when interpreting government announcements regarding infrastructure spending. Numerous announcements & press releases have now been made regarding this scheme. Clearly the latest relates to confirmed funding for the Ravensthorpe to Huddersfield stage of the project. Unfortunately not a little political spin has been given to the announcement that this funding is a 'benefit' of funds released by the cancellation of HS2 phase 2. All credit to RIA for highlighting this isn't new money**.For several years now RIA has been pressing the DfT for a clear plan for rail investment schemes. Despite various deadlines being set this plan has still not been published. In the context of HS2 cancellation the lack of a plan is important when trying to hold politicians to account when justifying funding for investment decisions especially when HS2 was originally sold as a stand alone investment.
    [**I quite agree. We suspected there was more to it, which is why we didn't rush to publish the official spin yesterday.--Ed.]