Network Rail’s plans to study the need for ‘New Lines’

23 June, 2008

Greengauge 21 welcomes the new that Network Rail has decided to initiate studies into the capacity limitations of the main lines that radiate to the north and west from London.

Greengauge 21 expressed its delight that Network Rail has decided to initiate studies into the capacity limitations of the main lines that radiate to the north and west from London.

“Network Rail is best placed to understand the pressures its key routes will face, and to compare the alternative ways of addressing the expected capacity short-falls”, said Greengauge 21 Director Jim Steer. “With demand for each of inter-city, London commuter, cross-country and provincial city commuter services along with freight all growing strongly and trying to share the same tracks, the case for new lines should become very clear”, he added.

Greengauge 21 is planning itself to carry out a development programme through a Public Interest Group, which Network Rail has committed to co-fund as well as undertake its own studies, “The difference is, explained Jim Steer, that we will be looking at the wider benefits that high-speed rail can bring, and not just the rail network capacity concerns. The wider case for new high-speed lines requires an examination across the transport modes—otherwise the clear carbon reduction benefits can be missed—and also requires looking at sustainable development and economic regeneration. Our own work will benefit from the detailed studies Network Rail plan to undertake and vice versa”, he added. “They are complementary, and we have held useful discussions with the Network Rail team to maximize the overall value we get from the work.”

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