Rail firm asked to back South Cumbria electric lines
Last updated at 17:06, Thursday, 06 September 2012
THE CAMPAIGN to electrify South Cumbrian railway lines has been stepped up.
Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, met with the managing director of First TransPennine Express, Nick Donovan, yesterday in a bid to win the electrification of the Lakes and Furness lines.
Plans to electrify routes around Manchester to create a “hub” ensuring an hourly service from the city to Preston, Carlisle and Scotland were announced in July.
Direct services to the Lakes and Furness lines in Cumbria were at risk of being cut completely but some direct services along the lines were saved following a local campaign.
However, with the plans to electrify the route from Manchester to Glasgow, it is felt that the Cumbrian services remain at risk in the future – unless they too are electrified.
Mr Farron said sources in the Department of Transport confirmed that while electrification of these two lines was not currently on the cards, strong support for electrification from the current operators – First Group – would play a significant role in making electrification a reality.
At the meeting, Mr Donovan agreed to look into the possibility of FirstGroup supporting the proposals.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Farron said: “Thousands of local residents have already expressed their concern over the future of the Lakes line and the Furness line by signing the ‘Cumbria Better Connected’ petition launched by myself and Barrow MP John Woodcock; and many in the tourism industry have raised their concerns directly with the government and rail operators.
“The meeting with Nick Donovan was very useful and I hope it will bring about fresh support for electrification.
“Electrification of the lines would make economic, financial and environmental sense, as well as help to ensure that the direct link between Windermere and Manchester Airport, and the Cartmel peninsula and Manchester Airport, are protected.”
First published at 16:27, Thursday, 06 September 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
For one train in each direction per standard hour, Barrow is probably not viable. However Windermere is only about 8 miles, would not require additional substation capacity, or resignalling, and the only cost involved would be that of providing and erecting the overheads.A nobrainer.