UK Plans High-speed London-Glascow Rail Service

Plan resumes electrification of UK's rail service that ended in 1991.

Published: 24-Jan-2009

The most eye-catching aspect of yesterday's package of rail announcements is the establishment of a company to plan and build Britain's second dedicated high-speed rail line.

High Speed 2 will be set up to explore the options for a rail line heading west out of London to a new Heathrow International hub near the airport, before going on initially to the West Midlands, but possibly eventually to Scotland.

However, in the immediate future, another aspect of the announcement will prove still more significant for the national rail network. It promises a decision before the end of this year on restarting the UK's rail electrification programme, which largely ended in 1991 with completion of work on the London-Edinburgh East Coast Main Line. The next lines to be electrified are the Great Western Main Line from London to Wales and the West Country and the Midland Main Line from London to Nottingham and Sheffield. Electric routes are less prone to delays because electric trains are more -reliable.

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