Better rail policy
[Re: Labour threatens to redesign HS2 link, yesterday]
In the nineteenth century, railways were built with private capital. But there is also a modern private sector solution to capacity problems on routes like the West Coast Main Line – to develop a new line for 75 miles per hour freight trains. This can largely be done by reinstating old tracks closed in the 1950s and 1960s, and is already happening elsewhere – 30 miles of railway between Edinburgh and Melrose is now being reinstated for £300m. And with freight trains removed from the West Coast Mail Line, updated signalling systems can be installed to enable 140 miles per hour passenger trains, reducing journey times. If the private sector is willing to risk its own money on a project like this, why does the government insist on spending taxpayers’ money on a more expensive project with similar end results?
The 38 miles between Exeter and my home town Plymouth take over an hour by train. The M5 stops at Exeter, leaving only the A38 dual carriageway afterwards. How about some investment in the transport infrastructure for the benighted far South West?
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