THE railway linking Bolton and Wigan is to be electrified by 2017 at a cost of £37 million, the Department for Transport said today.
In addition, a task force is to be set up to explore the next steps for railway electrification in the north of England. The routes to be investigated in detail include Sheffield to Leeds and Doncaster, Crewe/Warrington--Chester, Selby--Hull and Leeds--Harrogate--York. The task force will be made up of representatives from train operators, local authorities including the Rail North consortium, the supply chain and local Members of Parliament.
This group will provide the transport secretary with an interim report within 12 months setting out how schemes can be brought forward and their development accelerated.
The DfT said electrification between Lostock Junction, west of Bolton, and Wigan North Western station would allow diesel Pacers to be withdrawn in favour of electric trains on the services between Wigan and Manchester Victoria and also Wigan and Manchester Airport.
The schemes form part of a wider phase of new transport funding, which also includes many road improvements.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "Whether it’s unblocking bottlenecks on local roads, improving trouble spots on our motorways and trunk roads, or working to deliver better railways through electrification, these projects will benefit communities up and down the country and help keep Britain moving. By investing in our local and regional transport infrastructure we can help support new jobs and boost our overall competitiveness in the global economic race."
FULL LIST OF POTENTIAL ELECTRIFICATION SCHEMES:
Leeds – Harrogate – York
Selby – Hull
Sheffield – Leeds
Sheffield – Doncaster
East Coast Main Line – Middlesbrough
Sheffield – Manchester
Crewe – Chester