Saturday 22 Mar 2008
NETWORK RAIL RESPONDS TO SCOTMAN STORY ON WEST COAST
- Region & Route:
- Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
The Scotsman today ran a front page story about further planned work on the West Coast main line. The story is very misleading and Iain Coucher, Chief Executive responded directly to the story:
Iain Coucher said: "There is a massive prize to be had for passengers and freight users by finishing the £8.6bn West Coast improvements this year. There will be a huge increase in services, some 30% and Scotland will see significantly faster journey times.
"To deliver these benefits and finish the project we need to add a further 10% of time to the engineering work we had already planned and agreed. This additional time adds 13 extra weekends of work and extends some existing booked work. During this work passengers will still be able to get to Scotland directly by train – it is completely wrong to suggest there is going to be massive additional disruption.
"It is important that we consult with our customers on these proposals. We already know that the vast majority of them want us to deliver the project this year and understand the massive benefits that will result. We want their feedback that will help us to make the final decision which we will then present to the Office of Rail Regulation."
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.