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Viability of Midland Main Line electrification, part three

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On 21 December, the House of Commons Transport Select Committee published correspondence relating to the government’s cancellation of rail electrification schemes, especially the Midland Main Line (MML) north of Kettering.

Correspondence relating to the government's cancellation of rail electrification schemes, published 21 Dec 2017

In her letter dated 2 November 2017, transport select committee ‘chair’ Lilian Greenwood asked transport secretary Chris Grayling ‘what had changed between September 2016 and July 2017 such that the initial central case for MML electrification was no longer valid’.

'Transport Select Committee Chair to SoS for Transport letter re rail electrification', 02 Nov 2017, page 1

'Transport Select Committee Chair to SoS for Transport letter re rail electrification, 02 Nov 2017', page 2

The answer, of course, is that nothing (of any substance) had changed. Because of the government’s intention to build (and transfer West Riding and D2N2 traffic to) HS2, there was no case for MML electrification in September 2016. Or September 2015. Or September 2014 (etc).

The Beleben blogpost ‘Viability of Midland Main Line electrification part two’ of 13 September, 2016 — which stated, “It is difficult to see how Midland electrification, in its present form, could ever be value for money. It might make sense if it were designed to cater for railfreight, and future passenger journeys from the West Riding and D2N2 to London. The government’s current intention is for such journeys to be transferred to the eastern leg of HS2” — pre-dates the Atkins appraisal mentioned by Lilian Greenwood.

And in the post ‘Plummeting from infinity’ (13 November 2017), the Beleben blog exposed how, on 7 November 2016, MPs had debated MML electrification ‘in the dark’.

'Letter from Secretary of State for Transport to Transport Select Committee Chair re rail electrification', 29 Nov 2017, page 1

'Letter from Secretary of State for Transport to Transport Select Committee Chair re rail electrification', 29 Nov 2017, page 2

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Written by beleben

December 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Posted in HS2, Politics, Railways

One Response

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  1. Chris Grayling is up before the Transport Select Committee on the 22nd January 2018. This should be broadcast on Houses of Parliament TV channel.

    Mwmbwls

    December 31, 2017 at 9:26 am


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