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£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.


Railway project is on the right track

Scottish Borders Council Leader, Councillor David Parker, Network Rail project manager for the central and south sections of the Borders Railway, Ken MacGillivray and Scottish Borders Council Chief Executive, Tracey Logan, join the Borders Railway rail installation team as the rails cross into the Scottish Borders at Cakemuir Burn. Credit: Borders Railway

Rails for the Borders Railway crossed into the Scottish Borders for the first time in 45 years yesterday (Wed 5 Nov).

The rail installation team entered at Cakemuir Burn as the 30 mile route progresses.

It marks the completion of the rail installation process through Midlothian, with tracks now in place along iconic Borders Railway structures including the 167-year-old, 23-arch Lothianbridge Viaduct near Newtongrange as well as the 71.5 metre long new Hardengreen Bridge.

Now the rail is in place throughout Midlothian, it is being used to transport engineering vehicles.

The Borders Railway rail installation team in action as the rails cross into the Scottish Borders. Credit: Borders Railway

“Seeing the rails enter the Scottish Borders brings home the reality that trains will be running along the railway next September. The Scottish Borders is just months away from reaping the benefits of this investment that will encourage more visitors to our many attractions as well as boost the economic health of our towns and villages.”

– Councillor David Parker, leader of Scottish Borders Council

Calls for cross-border train fares to be simplified

Rail campaigners and a Cumbrian MP are calling for cross-border train fares to be simplified.

Lookaround has discovered that you can save more than £80 on journeys between Carlisle and the north of Scotland by breaking the journey down, and buying two tickets instead of one.

It's a process known as split-ticketing. Campaigners say it's unfair for people who don't know how to work the system.

Katie Hunter reports:

South Lakes MP wants high speed rail for Carlisle

Parliament has been asked to consider building a high speed rail link between Newcastle and Carlisle, after the Chancellor promised one between Leeds and Manchester on Monday.

The line wouldn't be build for decades, with the link between London and Birmingham still a long way off from being started.

However, South Lakes MP Tim Farron says improving infrastructure in the north means thinking further than Manchester.


Workington to Carlisle route to be opened today

the West coast line has been closed since Friday after high tides destroyed parts of the rails and wall between Siddick and Flimby

Engineers have been working 24 hours a day to get the line reopened. Network Rail hopes that will be working later this morning.

Around 50 workers have been working in 12 hour shifts to rebuild the wall and reinstate the track.

Martin Frobisher, Network Rail area director, said:

"We are very keen to get it running again as quickly as we can, but you can see the scale of the damage - it's a huge piece of work.

"When railways follow the sea so closely, for many it is an ongoing battle to maintain the sea defences.

"There is a huge amount of damage. We are working round the clock to reinstate the railway and our priority is get the services running again."

– Martin Frobisher, Network Rail

Services between Maryport and Barrow resumed on Monday but replacement buses are still in place between Workington and Carlisle.

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