UK Government announce new plans for rail services in Wales, Midlands and North
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed plans for new bi-mode trains, which are expected to provide faster and more comfortable journeys for passengers in Wales, the Midlands and the North of England.
The initiative will see new trains that feature a greater number of seats and facilities introduced on the Midland Main Line, Great Western Main Line and in the Lake District.
Great Western and Midland Main Line will use modern bi-mode trains, which will have 130 more seats and are able to provide faster services.
The trains are also expected to decrease long-distance journey times from Nottingham and Sheffield by 20 minutes at peak times.
The DfT has also announced that disruptive electrification works are to be scrapped between Cardiff and Swansea, Kettering, Nottingham and Sheffield, and between Windermere and Oxenholme, claiming that the electrification is no longer needed due to the introduction of new technologies.
UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We are making the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorian era and upgrading services across the country, including in Wales, the Midlands and the North.
“Passengers expect and deserve high-quality rail services and we are committed to using the best available technology for each part of the network, delivering significant benefits for those who use our railways.
“Passengers will benefit sooner and experience less disruption, compared with putting up intrusive wires and masts along routes where they are no longer required.”
The new Intercity Express trains in Wales are scheduled to be introduced later this year.
Network Rail will also develop additional initiatives throughout Wales, including improving journeys times and connections, and carrying out station improvements to benefit passengers.
Wales is also expected to receive the first privately funded railway station at St Mellons, which will see the department work with the project's promoters to complete the development.
Additionally, the next operator will need to provide fast and efficient intercity and commuter services on the Midland Main Line from 2022 in order to maximise the benefits of the upgrade works, including the deployment of new bi-mode intercity trains.
The DfT has also announced that four direct services a day between Windermere and Manchester Airport will run through the Lake District from May next year.