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Liverpool moves closer

Track improvements will put the other great Lancashire city 30 minutes away

Published on July 23rd 2009.

Liverpool moves closer

The Liverpool to Manchester train line is to be electrified under government plans announced today.

“Electrification should also free up some of the diesel trains used by First TransPennine to provide more seats on other services – critically those running to Manchester on overcrowded routes from places like Bolton, Stalybridge and Warrington.” *

Transport Minister Sadiq Khan visited Manchester to make the announcement that the conversion to electric will begin immediately. The line is one of two in the country to be selected as a priority, with the Great Western mainline from London to South Wales also to be electrified.

The Department for Transport estimates that the journey time between Manchester and Liverpool will be just 30 minutes following electrification – a saving of 14 minutes.

Councillor Keith Whitmore, the Chair of Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA) said: “The Liverpool to Manchester line was the world's first intercity railway when it opened in 1830 so it is fitting that it has been chosen among the first to be electrified as part of this major project.

“This is great news for passengers, for the environment and for the long term future of our local rail network. Electric trains are quicker, quieter, more reliable, and cause less pollution.

“And ultimately, electrification will reduce the longer term costs of running the rail network in the north, which can only be a good thing.

“Electrification should also free up some of the diesel trains used by First TransPennine to provide more seats on other services – critically those running to Manchester on overcrowded routes from places like Bolton, Stalybridge and Warrington.

“I look forward to working in partnership with government to see these exciting plans come to fruition.”

The government now intends to review and re-publish its Rolling Stock Plan in the Autumn. This follows concerns in Greater Manchester that the Department for Transport was intending to substantially reduce the number of additional carriages allocated to Northern Rail.

Vice Chair of GMITA, Councillor Ian Macdonald commented: “We are encouraged that the government is now going to look at its rolling stock plan again. I hope that they will take into account the serious concerns we have voiced about the level of capacity for rail commuters in our city region.

“We are also very pleased that Transport Secretary Lord Adonis has agreed to discuss this matter with a cross party group of Greater Manchester MPs in September.”

GMITA will continue to seek reassurances that the city region will get its fair share of carriages in the future to help alleviate overcrowding and cope with growing demand.

The Liverpool to Manchester line will be electrified over the next four years, making it possible to also run electric trains from Manchester to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The Department for Transport has committed to completely modernising any cascaded rolling stock that will run on the newly electrified services between Manchester and Liverpool.

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26 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Ali McGowanJuly 23rd 2009.

O - Greater Manchester does not exist... have you forgotten that it, and Merseyside were both abolished in the 80s? Go read up on it and save your anger for something more relevant!

LankyChris in BuryJuly 23rd 2009.

I agree Lancashire is more inclusive, whereas Gtr Manc and Merseyside create division and confusion; after all Lancashire has existed from 1168.And Lancashire doesn't sound ***** at all, it is a stunningly beautiful County, much of much you probably haven't visited "O", you need to get around more.We should be proud of our history, and celebrate it together, whilst of course looking forward!When the Local Government Commission reviewed Shire Lancashire (their name for the area of the county run by the county council) and 'Cumbria' (a collective name for the county areas of Lancashire North of the Sands, Cumberland and Westmorland, administered by Cumbria council), they received letters from all over the real county asking for the restoration of Lancashire. Consequently, when they published their Draft Recommendations for these two areas in June 1994 they recommended the restoration of the historic county of Lancashire for ceremonial, cultural and related purposes.

A SardineJuly 23rd 2009.

If I had a pound for everytime somebody used me as an example of being squashed I'd be able to electrify that rail-line myself. Free the tight fish I say.

OJuly 23rd 2009.

Lancashire hasn't included Manchester or Liverpool since 1974. That's why we got Greater Manchester and Merseyside now. I HATE it when I get a letter that says, Manchester, Lancashire on it. Partly because Lancashire sounds **** and partly because I think come on, you've had 35 years to get it right.

AnonymousJuly 23rd 2009.

i agree tha £100million is too much to pay for saving 14 mins of a journey. there may be other benefits that we dont know of - fuel efficiencies, decomissioning old diesel locos etc

J ArrowsmithJuly 23rd 2009.

Lancashire County Cricket Club still plays games in Liverpool.

Andy SJuly 23rd 2009.

On the contrary, "O", Lancashire has continued to include both Manchester and Liverpool since the local authority reorganisation in 1974. If you want to give your address as "Manchester, Greater Manchester", that's up to you, but I think it sounds pretty silly. It's a funny thing to get all worked up about though - fancy wasting your "HATE" on someone preferring to use the traditional county rather than the admistrative one.

Alan SutcliffeJuly 23rd 2009.

Lancashire was inclusive. Merseyside and Greater Manchester are exclusive and have exacerbated rivalries. Always go for the grander concept I say, rather than the Balkanisation of counties.

east lancsJuly 23rd 2009.

It always baffles me. I used to work at Warrington Council, the amount of folk writing "Lancashire" was quite silly. Then in Salford, people would write "Salford, Lancashire". I might start putting "Manchester, Danelaw" or "Mercia" - how's that for boneheaded resistance to change?!

Regular commuterJuly 23rd 2009.

Does it matter £100m is a ridiculous amount of money to be wasted on electrifying a service just to save 14mins travelling time - are they going to increase the frequency of the service? What they really want to do is invest in the current system and buy more carriages for each train that runs on that line, which actually runs from Huddersfield through to Liverpool, so that at least people can get into and out of Manchester at the correct time, instead of being packed in like sardines everyday.

OJuly 23rd 2009.

Andy S - OK 'hate' is a bit extreme but I don't really mean hate do I. Just that I'm Mancunian and live in Manchester not Lancashire. No I wouldn't expect my address to be written Manchester, Greater Manchester, but if I lived in Birmingham for example, I wouldn't expect it to say Birmingham, West Midlands. Birmingham would do, like Manchester would do for me.

east lancsJuly 23rd 2009.

Chris, you are today's winner :o)

DaveJuly 23rd 2009.

"it is fitting that it has been chosen among the first to be electrified"Erm, 40% of the UK's railway network is already electrified, so I hardly think it's 'among the first'....

OJuly 23rd 2009.

LankyChris... I 'need to get around more'? Reading your post there, sound like you are a barrel of laughs. Maybe we should go for a pint and yuo can tell me all about the local government commission... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

ChrisJuly 23rd 2009.

Eh? Do you think he might be referring to the east lancs road in Manchester? He might live on it or something. I don't know, myself, but seems plausible...

OJuly 23rd 2009.

Ali - Greater Manchester doesn't exist and Merseyside was abolished in the 80's????!!! How do you work that out?

lucky chrisJuly 23rd 2009.

Manchester - Liverpool.... in LESS time.... Surely that's the last thing we want???

AnonymousJuly 23rd 2009.

O m8, its not the Lancs who are concerned but the Cheshire set (Stockport and Altrincham Division) who must have Cheshire on the labels on internet parcels. Given em a chance. They will be here shortly.

RICHARD NASHJuly 23rd 2009.

Would have been nice to see the Manchester to Preston line electrified, however this does give Manchester a 3rd electric coridoor and acts as a good diversionary route for Virgin West coast services leaving the main west coast route at Newton Le Willows , it also allows electric trains to run from Manchester/Liverpool to Glasgow/Edinburgh , be nice to have pendolinos on these services instead of the current small suburban style 185 pennine units.

Fellow RegularJuly 23rd 2009.

Next you'll be saying £80m is ridiculous for a footballer. Anyway, read the story, it's not just about cutting 14mins off the time.

AnonymousJuly 23rd 2009.

Just to say that the postal address is plain Manchester for most M post codes. Check at the Royal Mail site.

Erm, hello?July 23rd 2009.

Do people not read the articles they comment on? "there may be other benefits that we dont know of" - yes, they are discussed above.

emma graceJuly 23rd 2009.

Good luck Dig!!!

Those Morons at the MEN...July 23rd 2009.

Have got a seriously disingenious take on this, "Should £100m be spent to cut journey by 14 mins?".

Eh?July 23rd 2009.

Er you daft bugger....I'd choose a better pseudonym before posting a comment such as this

Man ChesterMarch 10th 2010.

I realise this is an old article...but the point still stands. Neither we nor Liverpool are in Lancashire. Christ almighty! GM wasn't abolished in the 80s, only the council was.

I have mates in Bury, Rochdale and even Stalybridge who describe themselves as Mancunian.

Anyone who thinks it's still Lancashire is living in the past. Go run off to your Prestonian and Blackpudlian hamlets. The rest of us will live in the present day.

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