UK major rail improvements announced

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News article

UK major rail improvements announced

July 2012

major rail improvements

On 16 July Transport Secretary Justine Greening announced £9.4 billion of railway upgrades across England and Wales for the 2014 – 2019 period.  The High Level Output Specification programme largely concentrates on electrification of existing lines but also sees re-opening of closed railways and building of short sections of completely new track.  

Whilst these announcements are to be welcomed in their ability to increase capacity and reduce journey times on the rail network, land owners along these routes will want to consider the proposals and how they affect them.
 
The plans so far unveiled do not go into the details of construction, but it seems likely that there will be land take, most notably where new railways are constructed, but also where re-opening and upgrading of lines leads to level crossings being replaced by bridges (as is already outlined in the detailed plans for the Oxford – Bicester Evergreen 3 project), raising of bridges for electrification and predicted large container traffic and installation of overhead catenary masts where this is outside of existing railway ownership.  There is also likely to be the requirement for construction access to these lines from adjacent land.
 
The published proposals, which include an element of already announced improvements, are as follows;
 
  • Upgrading / re-opening and electrification of the Oxford – Bicester – Milton Keynes – Bedford railway, including a link south to Aylesbury
  • Creation of an ‘Electric Spine’ from Southampton to The North, through electrification of Southampton Port – Basingstoke – Reading – Oxford – Bedford and Oxford – Banbury - Leamington – Coventry – Nuneaton
  • Electrification of the Bedford – Nottingham, Derby – Sheffield and Kettering - Corby lines
  • Electrification of the London Paddington – Bristol – Cardiff – Swansea main line
  • Creation of a new railway from the west, linking the Bristol – London Paddington line to Heathrow Airport (subject to a satisfactory business case, with construction likely to extend past 2019)
  • Electrification of Thames Valley lines Acton – Willesden, Slough – Windsor, Maidenhead – Marlow and Twyford – Henley
  • Electrification from Walsall to Rugeley
  • Electrification of Manchester – Huddersfield – Leeds – York
  • Electrification of Micklefield – Selby
  • Electrification of the Welsh Valley lines emanating from Cardiff
Suggestion is also made of potential future (post 2019) electrification by overhead catenary of large parts of the third rail electric network south of the Thames, electrification of Derby – Bristol and to ‘all major UK ports’.
 
Fisher German have an expert team of compulsory purchase specialists who have advised landowners on major rail schemes such as HS2, Evergreen 3 and the Nottingham Express Transit extension.  Whilst it is too early to consider the details of the announced schemes, the proposed works are for the 2014 – 2019 period in order to increase capacity ahead of the construction of HS2.  It should not therefore be long before more detailed proposals are made available to affected landowners.

For further information, please contact Jonathan Perks on 01295 226282 or email jonathan.perks@fishergerman.co.uk.

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