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Vision for faster Anglo-Scots rail


01 June 2020

Improving rail connectivity to Scotland is a higher priority than building the HS2 Phase 2b high-speed line from Crewe to Manchester, Greengauge has told the National Infrastructure Commission.

Greengauge says the Government should focus on bringing the rail journey time from London to Glasgow and Edinburgh down to three hours and ten minutes and increasing anglo-Scottish freight capacity.

This is more important than building HS2 Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester “which probably has a weak business case, especially if compared with a line of route upgrade”. 

Greengauge proposes about 50 miles of new high-speed lines in the West Coast corridor and some substantial upgrades. It suggests: 

  • 400-metre platforms and segregated fast line approaches to Glasgow Central
  • a high-speed line between Rutherglen and Carstairs
  • dynamic freight loops between Carstairs and Tebay
  • modernising Carlisle and  Preston
  • a possible high-speed bypass of Penrith
  • a new high-speed route between Oxenholme and Lancaster
  • the HS2 Phase 2b route or a route upgrade between Wigan and Crewe
  • ETCS resignalling from Crewe northwards

For the East Coast it suggests: 

  • 400-metre platforms at Edinburgh Waverley and Newcastle
  • a high-speed line through “Mid-East Lothian” (the existing East Coast Main Line only runs through East Lothian)
  • dynamic freight loops north of Newcastle
  • fully segregated freight lines from Newcastle to Peterborough
  • improvements at York and Darlington station approaches

Greengauge also backs extending the Borders Railway from Tweedbank to Carlisle.


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