Thursday, 11 November 2010

London-Swansea electrification

Peter Black has a piece on Freedom Central about the coalition government's consideration of the electrification of the main railway line from Paddington to Swansea. It seems that the decision which successive governments have deferred is likely to be made within the next ten days.

The point is made in the Western Mail article to which Peter refers that an electrification team has been set up as a result of London's Crossrail. Start-up costs for the upgrade of the old Great Western line will therefore be much reduced. The practical thing to do is surely to announce immediately that London-Bristol will follow on Crossrail, and, while that electrification proceeds, consider the further extension to Swansea and, in England, to the West Country, whose industry has also been blighted by poor communication. Breaking the projects up in this way will reduce the headline costs.

The trouble is that politicians do not think in terms of continuity. "Stop-start" has not only bedevilled British railways but has also added cost to our motorway network. Let us hope that a sensible decision is taken in this case.

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