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NR probes Beeching fund plan


15 May 2020

The Government’s proposed programme to reopen railways closed in the Beeching era could upset the rail industry’s own investment priorities. 

Newly released minutes of Network Rail’s March board meeting state: “The chief financial officer discussed with the board: spending plans for enhancements and the extent to which they might be affected by the Government’s plans to review some of the local rail services cut and stations closed by the 1960s Beeching Review.” 

Sixty proposals for railway reopenings in England have been submitted to the ideas funding stream of the DfT’s new Restoring Your Railway fund (LTT 01 May). 

Minutes of NR’s January board meeting, which have also just been released, record a discussion about the rail investment  implications of the new Government led by Boris Johnson, which was elected in December. 

Discussing enhancement projects that could be progressed through the early stages of the project cycle, the board considered “where the intersection was between projects that the rail industry might consider a priority and projects that might be considered a political priority”.

The board also resolved that “showing schemes by parliamentary constituency would be helpful”. 

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