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£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
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East Coast: the facts and figures

East Coast train Credit: East Coast

Here are some key facts and figures about East Coast main line rail company.

It has been announced that a consortium involving Virgin Trains and Stagecoach will run the East Coast main line franchise from next year.

  • Passenger journeys have increased by 1.1m in the past five years.
  • Journeys between Scotland and London have increased by 23%.
  • Customer satisfaction has increased from 89% in 2009 to 91% in 2014.
  • Revenue has increased from £581.3m in 2008-2009 to £652.6m to 2013-14.
  • East Coast invested £48m since 2009.
  • The taxpayer has received £1 billion back in premium payments and profits.
  • In partnership with Network Rail, redeveloped Newcastle station through an £8.6 million investment
  • East Coast - based in York - employs 2,800 people based at stations, depots and offices from London to Inverness.
  • East Coast’s Highland Chieftain service is Britain’s longest single continuous train journey operating daily between London and Inverness, a distance of 581 miles, and taking 8 hours and 6 minutes.
  • Since the spring of 2011, East Coast has been recognised by numerous industry organisations, and the Company has been the recipient of 55 such awards
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