Train waiting to depart at Manchester Airport Station

Campaign Priorities

The Campaign has developed a short list of priorities to give a clear focus to its activity in facilitating improvements to the rail network. Go directly to one of the priorities by clicking the following links:

Northern Hub

The Northern Hub is a major bottleneck on the rail network affecting the whole of the North of England. It has been difficult to define what the Hub is, as it is a combination of factors which converge around Manchester. Essentially the twin track rail through the centre of Manchester is the core of the problem as this forms part of many routes – the TransPennine route through from Liverpool to Leeds and Newcastle, the North Western route through to Bolton, Preston, Blackpool, Lake District and Scotland, the Cheshire route to Warrington, Chester and North Wales, as well as many local commuter routes and freight accessing Trafford Park. Coupled with this pinch point is the throat of Piccadilly Station where conflicting paths can affect the West Coast Main Line route to London, the TransPennine Route and the Styal line to Manchester Airport.

Network Rail published a report in early 2010 identifying a package of potential solutions to this problem, establishing a benefit cost ratio of 4:1. The need now is to convince all interested parties that it provides a value for money project for the Government to include it in their Highlevel Output Statement in 2012, for delivery from 2014 onwards.

The Campaign is meeting regularly with Network Rail, and working to influence MPs & Ministers regarding a positive outcome to the Northern Hub.

To register your support for investment into the Northern Hub please click here.

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Rolling Stock

Additional rolling stock is required to meet the unprecedented demand experienced on the railways over a number of years. It also offers a partial solution to the problem of the Northern Hub, allowing greater capacity on the current track availability.

In November 2010, the Government announced an additional 650 carriages to be delivered, as well as new stock for the Thameslink project which allows for the cascade of other stock.

The Campaign will continue to work to ensure that the problems of overcrowding in the region are tackled effectively.

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Electrification of the lines between Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and Blackpool was announced in October 2010 for delivery by 2016, with Manchester to Newton-le-Willows completed by 2013 allowing new electric trains to operate from Manchester to Scotland.

Electrification allows for faster, more reliable services that are less damaging to the rail network and the environment. The Campaign fully supports the further development of an electrified rail network.

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There is a huge number of stations across the North West, some of which are run by Network Rail, some run by a Train Operating Company, some run by the local authority or Passenger Transport Authority. Some stations are large and well used; others see only a handful of passengers each day. The Campaign believes that every station should offer a reasonable standard of access, accommodation and security to its passengers and will support any station operator in their bid to upgrade and refurbish stations.

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High Speed Rail

Development of a High Speed Rail network would allow a dramatic impact on rail travel across the country, providing improvements for both passenger and freight traffic. The Campaign will continue to lobby for timely and cost-effective improvements to the rail network.

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Key Contacts