The House of Commons Transport Committee report ‘Priorities for investment in the railways’ today draws attention to the need to maintain investment in ‘classic lines’ while High Speed 2 is being built.
Tony Collins, Chief Executive of Virgin Trains, who gave evidence to the Committee said:
‘The Committee has issued a clear warning that excitement surrounding the development of High Speed rail shouldn’t lead us to neglect the ‘classic’ lines which are essential to our economic health. The West Coast mainline will be full before the end of the decade if we take an investment holiday while building High Speed 2. After all the improvements we’ve made we don’t want to see passengers lose faith in rail through years of overcrowding.’
Virgin Trains introduced its Virgin High Frequency timetable in December 2008, slashing journey times and increasing capacity by 30%. Outstanding growth since then has seen 15% growth in passengers.