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Shapps awards rail development funding

22 August 2020
Valley Lines: £516m price tag on asset transfer
Valley Lines: £516m price tag on asset transfer


Transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced development funding for a number of rail projects in England and Wales.

The awards in England are: 

  • £1.1m for Network Rail to develop short-term plans to relieve overcrowding at London Liverpool Street station
  • funding to complete the £6.4m  second footbridge serving all four platforms at St Albans City station, with work due to start early 2021 and be complete by January 2022
  • £4m to develop the design phase for gauge enhancement and track improvements for freight trains on the Great Western, Midland Main Lines and at Darlington, with the Darlington scheme delivered by October 2020
  • £9.74m for signalling and infrastructure enhancements delivered on the Wessex route at Twickenham, Bracknell and Virginia Water as part of the Feltham and Wokingham signalling renewal programme, which will help improve the reliability and flexibility of services starting from Easter 2021

The funding announced for Wales is:

  • £5.8m to advance development work on a new, modern design for Cardiff Central station
  • £3m to take forward plans for upgraded signalling on the 241-kilometre Cambrian line from Shrewsbury Sutton Bridge Junction to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli. The planned state-of-the-art digital signalling system will modernise the network, improving the reliability of services, and support the introduction of a new train fleet being rolled out across the network in December 2022
  • £2m for the next phase of development work on proposals to speed up journeys between Cardiff and Swansea, Chester and Llandudno Junction, and the Severn Tunnel and Cardiff, through better-aligned tracks and exploring putting additional services on the lines.

News of the Welsh funding was welcomed by James Price, the chief executive of Transport for Wales. He said that in the last financial year TfW had spent  spent £796m on rail services. This included £516m acquiring the Core Valleys Lines from Network Rail, £187m on the Wales and Borders rail service and an additional £28m on projects and service operation.

The powers over the Core Valley Lines were passed from Network Rail to Transport for Wales in March. 

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