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Cumbria's rail network 'not fit for purpose'

The council has called for improved services Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria County Council is urging the Government to address "years of underfunding" in Cumbria’s rail network.

Tenders will go out later this month to run the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises from February 2016.

The council's calls for an improved service in the new franchises include:

  • greater frequency and capacity of passenger services on the Cumbrian Coast Line
  • an increase in the number of direct services to Manchester International Airport from Barrow, Windermere and from the Anglo-Scottish route
  • Increase in the frequency of trains on the Tyne Valley Line between Carlisle and Newcastle so that there is a half hourly service

The council has criticised the current franchise, saying that it is 'not fit for purpose' in some areas.

“We are on the cusp of seeing what exactly we’re going to get in our rail services for the next decade. We have been lobbying hard for improvements and telling Government we need to see ambition, incentives for growth and flexibility in those tenders.

"The last franchises awarded in 2004, locked us into a poor quality service which did nothing to encourage investment and could not cope with the growth in passenger numbers. The result is a rail network which in some areas is not fit for purpose compared with other networks across the country,”

– Cllr Keith Little

£16m funding sparks upgrade for Windermere rail

The Government has announced a £16 million investment to electrify the Windermere rail line in the Lake District.

The 10 mile branch line links the National Park to the west coast main line at Oxenholme. It will be upgraded to allow electric trains to run on the route for the first time.

Ministers says it will create a faster, more reliable and greener service. Tim Backshall reports

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Minister: Rail upgrade 'absolutely crucial'

The Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, says the electrification of the Windermere rail line is 'absolutely crucial.'

She was speaking after announcing the £16m investment, at Windermere station.

The 10 mile branch line links the National Park to the west coast main line at Oxenholme. It will be upgraded to allow electric trains to run on the route for the first time.

She says it is vital for visitors and locals to improve the links to Manchester Airport.

It's electric: Windermere rail to benefit from £16m funding

Credit: ITV Border

Baroness Kramer, the Government's Transport Minister, was at Windermere station to officially launch the plan to electrify the 10 mile rail line between Windermere and Oxenholme.

South Lakes MP, Tim Farron, says the announcement of a £16m investment to electrify the Windermere rail line will boost tourism and attract new businesses to the area.

Credit: ITV Border

MP to announce Windermere rail electrification

MP Tim Farron will announce the £16 million investment to electrify the Windermere rail line.

The Government's Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, will also be at Windermere station to officially launch the upgrading plan today.

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MP 'over the moon' about rail investment

Windermere, which will have electric trains from 2017 Credit: ITV Border

South Lakes MP, Tim Farron, says the announcement of a £16m investment to electrify the Windermere rail line will boost tourism and attract new businesses to the area.

The Government's Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer, will be at Windermere station to officially launch the upgrading plan today.

As well as providing faster and more reliable journeys between Windermere and Oxenholme, where the branch lines links up with the West Coast main line, Mr. Farron believes it will help to protect through trains to Manchester Airport.

The MP has been campaigning for the changes, along with the Lakes Line Rail User Group.

"The plan will bring much-needed construction jobs in the shorter term and in the longer term attract new businesses, boost tourism and create a better environment for job creation. I am over the moon that we have been able to make this project a reality."

– Tim Farron MP

“This will be a shot in the arm to our tourism industry and means people can have breakfast in London and lunch in Windermere."

– Peter Thornton, Leader of South Lakeland District Council

£16m to electrify Windermere rail line

Windermere, which will have electric trains from 2017 Credit: ITV Border

The Government has announced a £16 million investment to electrify the Windermere rail line in the Lake District.

The 10 mile branch line links the National Park to the west coast main line at Oxenholme. It will be upgraded to allow electric trains to run on the route. The Government says it will mean faster and more reliable journeys.

The work will be carried out by Network Rail as part of its electrification programme across the north. It could be completed by 2017. Other routes being electrified include Manchester to Liverpool, Preston, Leeds and York, and Preston to Blackpool.

The Government says the National Park and the visitors using the railway will be taken into account as the work is carried out.

Campaigners have long called for the line to be electrified to improve the service and protect its future.

“Electrifying this key rail link will support the vital tourism industry in the area, and help us build a stronger economy in the Lake District and beyond."

– Baroness Kramer, Transport Minister

Opinions sought over Borders railway

Rails for the Borders railway crossed into the Borders for the first time in 45 years on 5th November. Credit: PA

People are being asked how much they are likely to use the Borders railway, which opens next year.

The survey is being delivered to homes in Galashiels, Tweedbank, Selkirk and Hawick. It'll also ask what people think about exisiting transport links and how they could be improved.

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