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ELECTRIFICATION & ELECTRONICS


as an obvious priority, this would support other useful in-fill electrification. Extend- ing the wires from Sheffield to Moorthorpe would allow MML trains to run through to Leeds, together with electrification from Leeds to York (actually only involves wir- ing from Neville Hill to Colton Junction on the ECML), the short section between Swinton and Doncaster, and then from Derby to Birmingham. This programme would be a step toward electric operation of Cross Country services both via Leeds and Doncaster. Certainly early efforts should be made to eliminate the already very long runs under the wires by Cross Country trains beyond York to Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.


Further in-fill electrification from Birming- ham to Oxford, linking up with the GWML electrification from London, would en- able Cross Country services to use electric traction as far as Reading. Wiring from Birmingham to Bristol and then to Taun- ton, to link with the West of England route from London would be a longer term pro- ject, whose prospects would be strength- ened when the latter route is electrified. In fact the business case for both might be strengthened if they were carried out as part of an ongoing rolling programme.


Completion of this last piece of the jigsaw would then enable electric operation of Cross Country services to Plymouth and Penzance.


The next logical section to be undertaken would be the Marylebone-Banbury section of the Chiltern route, which is much busier now than even a decade ago, with 12 trains per hour at peak times as far as High Wy- combe and nine per hour beyond!


Trans Pennine


A further scheme that could be progressed through a series of in-fill schemes is the


Another worthwhile scheme would be Crewe-Chester, allowing electric opera- tion of the popular new Euston to Chester


North Trans Pennine route. The Lanca- shire Triangle electrification schemes will see the Chat Moss route between Liverpool and Manchester electrified. Extending the wires across the Pennines from Manches- ter to Huddersfield and Leeds, combined with wiring from Neville Hill to Colton Junction (as described above) would then enable electric operation of TPE services between Newcastle and Liverpool. Further in-fill electrifications in this well-populated region could follow logically as funding became available. If this was agreed then other short additions could include Carn- forth-Barrow, and Northallerton-Middles- brough. Again extensive diesel operation under the wires to Glasgow and Newcastle should be eliminated as soon as possible.


Other miscellaneous in-fill or short add-on schemes


This list could be quite lengthy although by the nature of the description above the total mileages are relatively short. Some obvious examples besides those already referred to include: Wokingham-Ash/Guildford-Rei- gate, Ashford-Ore, Hurst Green-Uckfield, Gospel Oak-Barking, Marylebone-Harrow/ Amersham-Aylesbury, Ipswich-Felixstowe, Ely-Peterborough, Coventry-Nuneaton- Birmingham, Walsall-Rugeley, Wolver- hampton-Shrewsbury, Oxenholme-Win- dermere. The remaining short but busy routes in urban Lancashire, South and West Yorkshire, for whose commuters and shoppers journeys on overcrowded two-car ‘Pacer’ units are failing to maximise the po- tential of these routes, also merit early in- clusion in a rolling programme. Those lines I have referred to in the South East of the UK would all eliminate small uneconomic pockets of diesel operation in otherwise en- tirely electrified areas.


service. Indeed, at the time of writing, ap- proval for this scheme is reported to be im- minent.


Conclusion


Therefore, whilst the Coalition Govern- ment’s confirmation that the GWML and Lancashire Triangle electrification schemes approved by its predecessor will go ahead is encouraging news, together with its very long-term proposals for a high-speed rail network, it needs a far greater sense of urgency about the climate change targets which the UK has already signed up to, the rising cost of oil, and the appalling social and national economic cost of traffic con- gestion.


Railway electrification is overwhelmingly the relatively quick fix if early funding tar- gets can be agreed, to go much further and authorise further electrification of the busi- est routes that carry the majority of traffic on the national network.


This logically includes almost the entire inter-city network, and remaining sub- urban and inter-urban routes outside London and the South East. This will also help us to catch up with most other highly- developed European countries which have a far greater proportion of electrified mile- age than in the UK, and we urge politicians to look closely at ongoing programmes in much of Europe in spite of their other eco- nomic troubles. We in Railfuture will press on with this important campaign.


Quite simply the plan- et will not wait for the economy to catch up as some politicians seem to believe.


Ian McDonald


FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit www.railfuture.org.uk


rail technology magazine Jun/Jul 11 | 87


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