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Electrification Plans A Good Start

08/12/2009 AT 07:39

Chief executive Iain Coucher said: "Today is a good start, but there is much further to go. "Network Rail has been pushing for electrification for a long time. Indeed in 2007 – along with the Association of Train Operating Companies – we urged the Department for Transport to take the issue seriously.

"Network Rail will deliver the schemes announced today. Passengers will soon reap the benefits that electrified lines bring – quieter and smoother rides on trains that cause less wear and tear to the track, trains that are more reliable and often faster. Further electrification will also help open up more diversionary routes so that we can keep people on trains and off buses as we carry out planned rail improvement work."

Expanding the electrified network has been a long-held ambition for Network Rail and the company is now putting its detailed plans into place to install overhead lines efficiently, at an affordable cost and with minimal disruption.

The announcement follows Network Rail's publication of a wide ranging strategy for electrification in May this year. The strategy, currently under consultation, outlined the clear benefits of a rolling programme of electrification: lower CO2 emissions, higher levels of train reliability and availability and lower leasing costs. The superior acceleration of electric trains can also help reduce journey times while providing more seats than diesel trains, therefore increasing capacity.

Currently only 40% of the rail network is electrified, including most of the south east of England, and the main lines from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the Merseyrail network around Liverpool and the Glasgow suburban network.

The strategy recommended electrifying the busiest 3,000 miles of non-electrified lines including the western route from Paddington to Bristol and Swansea and the midland main line from St Pancras to Derby and Sheffield. Strategic infill would also provide benefits, opening up new routes for electric passenger and freight trains, such as Manchester to Liverpool also announced today.

Network Rail's concept to install overhead wires is based around a mobile electrification factory concept designed to operate with minimal disruption to the railway while providing a safe working environment for engineers. The concept includes three piling trains and one wiring train which will operate in tandem as one single ‘factory' unit.

C2C becomes most punctual operator ever

Train operator c2c, which runs commuter services from London Fenchurch Street, has become Britain's most punctual operator - ever - reaching an average of 95.8% of services on time over the 12 months to 27 June 2009. c2c has beaten the previous record set by Chiltern Railways of 95.4% in 2005.

Network Rail opens vehicle developpement centre

Network Rail today announces the opening of its rail vehicle development centre in Nottinghamshire, which will play a key role in building the railway of tomorrow. The facility will help develop rail vehicles, technology and equipment as Network Rail gears up for the future.

Train punctuality reaches new record high

The number of trains arriving on time¹ on Britain's railways reached a new record annual high² in the year to 30 May 2009 as 90.8% of services arrived punctually. The highest level of train punctuality since comparable records³ began almost 20 years ago (1992).

More car parking spaces at Preston station

The new multi-story car park at Preston station will open on Monday15 June. The expanded car park will provide an additional 469 parking spaces, making a total of 939 spaces available at the Lancashire station.

New First Class Lounge for Liverpool Lime Street

Virgin Trains First Class customers using Liverpool Lime Street station now have exclusive use of a new state-of-the-art lounge.

Record train punctuality

Network Rail unveiled its preliminary results for the year to 31 March 2009, a year in which the company delivered record levels of investment, strong financial performance with healthy profits reinvested in the railway and train punctuality at a new all time high.

Train punctuality reaches all time record high

Over 1.2bn passengers last year (April 2008 to March 2009) enjoyed the best train punctuality ever recorded on Britain's railways as 90.6% of train services arrived on time². The highest since records began almost 20 years ago (1992).

Consultation on electrification strateggy launched

A formal consultation looking into expanding the electrified network was launched today as Network Rail, on behalf of the rail industry, published a proposed strategy on electrification.

New crown King's Cross

King's Cross station is to be crowned with a new roof resplendent with energy producing panels as part of Network Rail's £450m major upgrade of the station.

Network Rail boots Crossrail projects

Network Rail today gave passengers and the people of London a boost by taking a big step forward in the delivery of the Crossrail and Reading projects. It has announced the intention to appoint Bechtel as its delivery partner for these vital congestion busting projects.

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