Network Rail New Line(s) Programme

Wednesday, August 26 2009


The Synopsis of Network’s Rail New Lines Business Case

Readers with long memories will remember that when, in June 2008, Network Rail first announced that it was to examine the case for constructing a number of new lines to increase the capacity of Britain’s overcrowded railway network – the project was reported as “Network Rail team to study high speed corridors“. The “s” at the end of “corridors” is significant.

Today, just over a year later, Network Rail released the results of its labours. Although the package is still labelled “The case for new lines”, it is clear that documentation is concerned with establishing the case for building one new line – a high speed railway from London to Glasgow and Edinburgh with branches to Liverpool and Birmingham.


Network Rail’s plan of the ‘New Lines’

There were reports that No 10 and Marsham Street1 were none to pleased that Network Rail’s studies into several high speed routes might eclipse their own announcements about railway electrification and HS2. It seems likely that Ian Croucher, Network Rail’s chief executive, at the last minute razor-bladed out the work on the other high speed corridors so as to ensure that Network Rail’s report would be taken as supporting the official line rather than highlighting its inadequacies.

Whatever the truth of the matter, the material that Network Rail has chosen to publish is quiet voluminous and it will take time for us to digest all the implications so as to be able to publish a meaningful review on BTWT. So for the moment if you click on the link below it will take you to the Network Rail website from which all the documents which Network Rail has chosen to publish today can be downloaded. We look forward to your comments and will be returning to the topic in due course.

1 The Cabinet Office and the Department for Transport



One comment

  1. I wish I could be more optimistic about this. Trouble is, the UK has a very bad track record on long term public infrastructure, especially railway systems. Can anyone really see politicians be interested in anything that takes longer than one parliamentary session yet costs billions ?

    On the other hand, the country really needs this line. It’s crazy that people fly within our borders. Rail would be so much more environmentally friendly.

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