Transport select committee to hold inquiry into West Coast Mainline contract on October 31
The Department for Transport has many serious questions to answer about what went wrong with the West Coast Main Line franchise competition and the wider ramifications for the other complex contractual negotiations it is involved in, such as the Thameslink rolling stock procurement.
I have written to the Secretary of State to find out more about the reviews he has ordered, the staff who have been suspended and the reporting lines to ministers ahead of the hearing we will hold on October 31.
– Louise Ellman MP, House of Commons Transport Committee chairman
Northern Hub rail upgrade part of £9billion project
The Northern Hub rail upgrade is part of a £9.4billion package of investment the Government is announcing today.
The Government said the package would be funded "in part from fare rises already announced in 2010 and also from the substantial efficiency savings which projects like electrification will have on the long-term operating costs of the railways".
"From Crossrail, high-speed rail and now the billions of pounds of investment we are announcing today, this Government is committed to taking the long-term decisions to deliver growth and jobs.
"In what is the biggest modernisation of our railways since the Victorian era, this investment will mean faster journeys, more seats, better access to stations, greater freight links and a truly world-class rail network."
£322m of Northern rail upgrades due to be announced
A cluster of rail upgrades known as the "Northern Hub" are expected to be announced by the Government today.
They will include £322m of outstanding track and capacity upgrades across Manchester city centre, Manchester Airport and across to Liverpool.
According to reports the investment is on top of £477m of Northern Hub schemes already approved across the north of England, such as electrification of the North Trans-Pennine route between York and Manchester.