Funding for Furness railway line study announced
Last updated at 15:42, Monday, 24 March 2014
A KEY study supporting the case for investment in the Furness railway line is to be backed by a partnership of public and private sector funding.
The Furness Line Community Rail Partnership (CRP) is commissioning the study, which will set out the economic case for upgrading the railway, including electrification of the line and improved passenger train services.
Cumbria County Council’s South Lakeland Local Committee today agreed to contribute £3,000 towards the study, matching a similar amount agreed last week by the county council’s Barrow Local Committee.
South Lakeland District Council and Barrow Borough Council are also making financial contributions.
It will cost around £30,000 to produce the study, with £12,000 of the funding coming from the public purse and the remainder from the private sector.
The study will put the business case for future investment and the retention of good quality train services along the Furness line, including through services from Barrow to Manchester Airport.
Councillor Geoff Cook, chair of South Lakeland Local Committee, said: “It’s very important that we make the strongest possible case for future investment in the Furness line, as new rail franchises are due to start in 2016.
“This economic study is a vital part of that process and is being funded by a partnership of the public and private sector.
“Everyone will benefit from having fast, good quality train services and the local committee was delighted to support the CRP study.”
First published at 15:40, Monday, 24 March 2014
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Daily Train User makes many relevant points. If this were Switzerland the line would have been wired 50 odd years ago. But our Government still thinks Britain ends at Milton Keynes!
Connectivity means electric railways to link the main centres, that means both Manchester and Liverpool,as well as Birmingham, London, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Good for Industry, good for the Economy; get on with it!
Right,here we go , Im about to save you Â£30,000, heres what the report will say in a nutshell. 1. Yes retain the 10 trains a day to Manchester Airport as It will improve Business Links. 2. forget the electrification as it will cost billions to electrify the line from Carnforth to Carlisle via the Cumbrian coast. reason ? Electrified Railways in harsh marine coastal environments have high maintenance costs as more to go wrong during storm seasons etc, Most of the ancient sandstone bridges all the way up the coast would need to be openened up to allow the overhead catenary to pass through, cost of that ? ouch ! yes horrendous.! and as Darren says above there is an awful lot of line north of Barrow, including one nightmare structure called 'BRANSTY TUNNEL' built in the 1800's for small 4 wheel carriages to pass under whitehaven, even today only certain types of train will fit through its rather small bore. There certainly isnt enough room in there to fit Overhead catenary wires, So It would require opening up or rebuilding this very shallow tunnel under the centre of Whitehaven. cost of new tunnel under the centre of whitehaven ? Billions ! There was an alternative route up until about 15 years ago, when CCC authorised a housing estate and a bypass to be built on the alternative route via Egremont and Cleator. Well Done CCC that was really far sighted of you. So The only practical alternative is to do what the French do. Yes there are railways beyond our shores that maybe do things a little better, Theyre commuter trains look just like the Bombardier units that work south of Barrow, They have a diesel engine under them for running on non electrified lines, But when under the wires they turn off the diesel engine and a pantograph comes up on the roof and feeds off the overhead supply, They can change over at 50 mph without stopping. So there you go, when the franchises come up, just go for the Company that is prepared to invest in suitable rolling stock that does not require electrification of the coast line.
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