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Railhub Archive
2001-04-02 SRA-004
Strategic Rail Authority


SRA Chairman comments on today's rail announcements

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Strategic Rail Authority

SRA Chairman comments on today's rail announcements

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2 April 2001
source Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release

Welcoming the Government's Railtrack funding announcement, Sir Alastair Morton said this morning, "Today we make an early delivery of three important items in our Strategic Agenda, and each opens the way for further delivery. The three are:-

1. Enhancements are no longer forced to wait until Railtrack finds money
and management for them. CTRL Phase 2, the East Coast Main Line
upgrade and the East London Line can all move forward. But when
completed they can be integrated with Railtrack's network operation
and may be acquired by Railtrack, with all the project risks behind
them. A healthy Railtrack will be able to grow into a major national
utility if it gets its act together, starting with its core business of
operating, maintaining and renewing the existing network.

2. New passenger franchises promise years of major investment to
improve services and are reshaping the network. Stagecoach had to
stretch to stave off a very competitive challenge from a new joint
venture between First Group and Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch
State Railways). The passenger will benefit from the competition. The
Waterloo to Exeter service, moved into the new Wessex franchise, will
be doubled as part of a widespread upgrade of rail services in England
south of Birmingham and west of London.

3. The SRA's longer term vision for London is based on national rail
network routes under the capital, developed in co-operation with
Transport for London (TfL). Thameslink 2000 will now be accompanied
by the connection between Croydon and Dalston via the East London
Line. Later, we hope to launch an East-West route evolved from
Crossrail and a new route from near Clapham Junction to Hackney and
beyond. Quite soon, the SRA intends to approve, with TfL, a sort out of
the North London Line to move freight more efficiently while offering
more capacity to passenger operators in preparation for a new Orbirail
franchise, whose core will be the network from Willesden to Dalston to
Docklands, around South London, to Clapham and back to Willesden
in the North West of London.

"Change doesn't happen overnight on rail. Operators and Railtrack have a huge task to develop safe and efficient operation but, as numbers and tonnes moving continue to increase, strategically planned investment becomes more and more essential. Government participation in these investments, via the SRA, will be the key to making them happen".

Railhub Archive ::: 2001-04-02 SRA-004


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