Rail industry responds to funding for Northern rail infrastructure
The Government has announced funding for the Trans Pennine Route Upgrade and the formation of a Northern Transport Acceleration Council.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said:
“Today’s announcement on progressing the Trans Pennine Route Upgrade and the establishment of a Northern Transport Acceleration Council are both positive signs that the Government is serious about the role of rail schemes in generating an economic recovery following the Coronavirus outbreak. Following the stepping up of RIA’s ‘Speed Up Rail Enhancements’ campaign earlier this month, these announcements shows a clear impetus to make rail a central part of the Government’s ‘build, build, build’ agenda.
“The Railway Industry Association and our members urge the Government to ensure the delivery of the Trans Pennine Route Upgrade, and work on other northern routes, supports the goal of decarbonising the UK rail network by 2040. This will require the electrification of intensively used routes, like Trans Pennine, as well as the deployment of low carbon, self-powered rolling stock across the network. So we call on the Government to make a speedy decision committing to the full electrification of the Trans Pennine Route as part of a rolling programme across the network, to ensure rail investment delivers not only an economic recovery, but also leaves an environmental legacy for all of the UK.”
Justin Moss and Mike Hulme, Co-Chairs of Northern Rail Industry Leaders (NRIL), said:
“Rail suppliers across the North will be pleased with the decision today to progress with the Trans Pennine Route Upgrade, a key artery for the Northern economy.
“Rail contributes £7.3 billion to the Northern Powerhouse region each year, supporting 132,700 jobs, with around 300 rail supply companies located in the region. The speeding up of projects like Trans Pennine will help support this vital industry, ensuring rail companies can deliver a rail revolution across the North of England, supporting SMEs, creating more skilled jobs and helping the North to become a hub for innovation in rail. We look forward to working with the Government, the new Northern Transport Acceleration Council and Transport for the North to deliver the most from this investment.”