Network Rail on board for High Speed Rail

Network Rail today (Thursday 11 March) reiterated its support for high-speed rail as the government published its command paper.

Chief executive, Iain Coucher said: “There is now a broad political consensus that Britain must have a high-speed rail future. High-speed is a vital part of a modern, dynamic economy. By slashing journey times, high-speed rail can drive economic growth and boost jobs. It would also take cars and lorries off the road, cut domestic flights and release capacity on the existing rail network; transforming services even for those communities not served directly by a high-speed line. It is the low-carbon, sustainable transport of the future.”

“We will now analyse the white paper in detail to see how its proposals would expand the network. The railway is a system and we will work with government to understand how high-speed lines can be developed to make the best use of capacity of the entire network.”

Network Rail’s analysis will be made against six principles:

  * Britain should develop a high speed rail network, and this must be planned and operated as part of the overall network;
  * A new high-speed line must deliver the optimum possible journey time reductions and add the optimum possible capacity to the network as a whole;
  * It must be as affordable to the nation and as simple to operate as possible;
  * Achieving significant modal shift from air to rail has to be one of the core objectives of the development of high-speed rail;
  * There should be the minimum possible disruption to passengers during the construction period; and
  * Funding for high-speed rail should not be at the expense of investment in the existing network.

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