Coast into London
Last updated at 11:20, Friday, 23 October 2009
DIRECT trains to London could be running along Britain’s Energy Coast™ by 2013.
Yorkshire based Alliance Rail Holdings Limited has applied to the Office of the Rail Regulator for clearance to run four trains a day between Carlisle and Euston via the Energy Coast tracks and stopping at Workington, Whitehaven and Barrow before joining the West Coast Main Line.
The first direct trains to London on the route for more than 20 years would be run by hybrid Polaris express trains built in China which can run on both diesel and electric power.
From Barrow the trains would then take between three hours and three hours and fifteen minutes to reach London compared with around three hours forty five minutes now, said Ian Yeowart whose grandparents came from Maryport and whose parents live in Silloth.
Services will target both the business and tourism markets. As MD of another independent train firm, Grand Central which he has since left, Mr Yeowart successfully used Open Access competition rules to start direct trains between Sunderland, which is isolated off the East Coast Main Line, and London. He also secured running rights for new independent competing services due to start from Bradford to London next May.
The Cumbrian services would be run by a subsidiary called the Great North Western Railway, but he is also planning new services in the north east reviving the name Great North Eastern Railway.
He said research suggested the Energy Coast service could be economic taken together with other stops along the line further south. Trains would initially have two power cars and six coaches, but could be lengthened to ten coaches if demand required it.
He said: “With a limited number of services we could probably make this work. While Virgin Trains currently operates a high frequency service on the WCML route, there are many large and important locations that are poorly served or not served at all. Open Access is the opportunity for those communities to see their links restored and at the same time provide some much needed consumer choice.”
He said currently most business people travelling by rail from West Cumbria or Furness first drive to the West Coast Main Line before getting a train.
The 55 year old career railway man started as a booking clerk. He was an area manager in Yorkshire for British Rail before privatisation of the railways.
Direct London trains along the Cumbrian coast finished in 1983 although a sleeper service was briefly revived until it too was axed in 1990.
Simon Sjenitzer, Strategy Director of Cumbria Vision said: “We endorse and welcome this proposal by Alliance Rail Holdings which is absolutely spot on and innovative and is absolutely looking forward to the Energy Coast and all its aspirations.
“With the nuclear hub at Sellafield and potential nuclear new build we will need to get a lot of people in and out of Cumbria and rail is the best way to do it.”
n In a separate development Network Rail unveiled plans for a high speed railway from London to Scotland via the north west with 200mph trains that would take 1 hour and 13 minutes from London to Preston.
First published at 13:15, Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk