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Greener rail commuting headed to Preston and the North West

Posted on - 1st September, 2021 - 1:48pm | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston News, Preston Railway Station, Transport
Preston Station Pic: Donna Clifford
Preston Station Pic: Donna Clifford

The government have announced a £78m plan to electrify a section of the North West’s rail network, which will boost potential for green commuting across Preston and the North West.

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Within hours of Transport for the North’s consultation on its Decarbonisation Strategy closing, the government announced a £78m plan to electrify a key section of the North West’s rail network between Lostock Junction and Wigan North Western.

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The move to greener travel has been welcomed as a ‘step in the right direction’ as the need for investment in sustainable rail schemes across the region is recognised.

Martin Tugwell

Transport for the North’s Chief Executive, Martin Tugwell said: “It’s great news that a commitment has now been made to electrify this key section of the rail network.

“It may be just one piece in a bigger jigsaw, but it will support sustainable rail in this area of the North West for many years to come.

“We have already made clear that the need to decarbonise our surface transport network is vital in helping to tackle the climate emergency.

“This is a step towards that, but there remains a huge amount of work to be done – including commitment to projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2.”

The scheme will electrify 13 miles of track and lengthen a number of platforms built on the recent electrification of the line from Manchester Victoria to Preston through Bolton.

It is part of a wider plan for ‘infill’ projects where additional electrification can be built to connect already electrified routes.

As well as supporting decarbonisation, the project will also potentially give journey time savings, lower operating costs and carbon savings for passenger and any freight services using the route.

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