West Coast Main Line Strategy
Llandudno Liverpool Manchester
Holyhead Junction Stockport
West Coast Main Line Strategy
Refreshing a Prime National Asset
Executive Summary 7
1. Background 10
The SRA’s involvement 11
2. The Strategy 13
The SRA’s approach 13
The SRA’s objectives 14
Issues and strategic elements 15
Route asset condition 15
Line speed enhancements 15
Capacity for more Long Distance passenger trains 16
Capacity for freight growth 17
Capacity for other vital route users 18
Traction power supplies and distribution system 20
Location speciﬁc works 21
Technology applications 24
Technical acceptance 25
Project costs, control and governance 26
Implementation and deliverability 27
Timetabling process 27
Renewals within the Project 28
Key outputs from Strategy 29
3. Strategic Elements of Capacity and Other Outputs from
the West Coast Route Strategy 30
West Coast services 30
Cross Country services 33
Trunk freight 34
London commuter services 35
Cross London 36
West Midlands 36
Trent Valley 37
North Wales 37
North Staffordshire 38
Manchester area 38
Liverpool area 38
Preston and Lancashire 39
Scottish services 39
International services 40
Stations and freight terminals 42
Weekend services 43
4. Business Case for the West Coast Route Upgrade 44
The appraisal 44
Value for money 45
Appraisal summary 46
5. Renewals 47
Future Programme of Renewals 48
6. Implementation and Delivery 49
Overall approach 49
Possession strategy 49
Alternative service strategy 51
7. Next steps on the West Coast Route Modernisation Project 53
8. Lessons Learnt 57
Summary of lessons for the future from the WCRM Project 1997 – 2002 57
Summary of lessons for the future from the 2002-3 SRA-led all industry review
of the WCRM Project 57
Appendix A: Detailed infrastructure requirements 60
Summary of the key requirements of the SRA for the West Coast route 60
Background to the proposals 61
Route renewal 61
Power supplies 61
Train detection system 61
Train radio and communications strategy 62
Train control strategy 62
Speciﬁc infrastructure schemes 65
Appendix B: Indicative elements of services 81
Appendix C: Indicative freight paths available from this Strategy 88
Appendix D: Planned implementation arrangements 90
Appendix E: Consultation and stakeholders 96
As part of its leadership role for Britain’s Railway, the Strategic Rail Authority has taken
responsibility for the development of a Strategy for the West Coast Main Line (WCML). The SRA
carried out an urgent programme to review Railtrack’s plans to upgrade the WCML during 2002.
They were found to be undeliverable and unacceptably costly.
A draft Strategy document was issued in October 2002 and has since been the subject of an
extensive consultation exercise. Our thanks are due to the many organisations and individuals who
took time to correspond with us and provide suggestions about how the important West Coast
Route should be developed and used. All such responses have been carefully examined and taken
into account when preparing this Strategy.
Many views and suggestions concerned the detail of future train services. It will be appreciated that
a Strategy sets out the objectives for such services and a plan for how those should be realised. The
speciﬁcation of train timetables consistent with this Strategy will be determined by the established
industry procedures. The SRA will make a point of ensuring that stakeholders are kept aware of
progress with the implementation of the Strategy and also consulted, as appropriate, over any
signiﬁcant changes in respect of planned service patterns.
The WCML Strategy will provide increased capacity for long distance passenger and freight
services, as well as preserving and where possible increasing and improving the provision for peak
commuter services and other inter-regional links. It will also improve the route’s overall
performance reliability to enable both passenger and freight trafﬁc to grow, allowing Train/Freight
Operating Companies to make good use of the increased capability (for example in terms of line
speed, tilt and gauge).
Capacity must be used effectively. The West Coast is Europe’s longest, busiest mixed trafﬁc railway
and this Strategy has been developed to meet foreseeable and anticipated requirements for the
future. I believe it is vital that we grasp the opportunity given by a major renewal of the route’s
infrastructure to establish a secure basis for the future.
While British Rail was unable to face up to the huge challenge of renewing the West Coast (a
number of attempts were aborted during the 1980s and 1990s), Railtrack and now Network Rail
have taken on the task of making good the backlog of renewals work. The project’s difﬁculties have
been widely reported. In this Strategy we set out what we know can, and will be achieved, and we
describe how costs have not only been capped, but are now being driven downwards.
The substantial commitment and hard work of all those people involved in the West Coast Route
Modernisation from its inception should not be overlooked in the process of getting a grip of a
difﬁcult project. Without the vision of Railtrack, the Ofﬁce of Passenger Rail Franchising and
Virgin, in 1996, there would be no modernisation of this vital rail artery of the scale now
underway. But the implementation of the project has been very troubled and tough action needed
to be taken.
Responsibilities are now clear. The SRA is the client for the project and ultimately accountable for
the funds used for the renewal and upgrade of the line. Network Rail is responsible for the safe and
efﬁcient delivery of the infrastructure elements of this Strategy. The Rail Regulator has worked
closely with the SRA and Network Rail, and will determine its efﬁcient cost, assess the impact on
track access charges and monitor and secure compliance with Network Rail’s licence obligations,
and approve or direct the terms of access agreements permitting train operators to use the route.
The Train Operating Companies, through revised franchise speciﬁcations in the case of the
passenger businesses, will be responsible for the delivery of the much better train services for which
the regions served by the WCML have patiently waited. The SRA and the railway industry as a
whole are well aware of the need to secure best value, avoid unnecessary expenditure and
disruption, and have already shown how they can work together to ensure a successful conclusion
of this major investment and modernisation programme.
Chairman and Chief Executive
Strategic Rail Authority
West Coast Route Diagram
Llandudno Liverpool Manchester
Holyhead Junction Stockport
1. The SRA’s Objectives for the West Coast Route
The SRA’s objectives for the West Coast Route are:
● To address the major backlog of maintenance and renewals on the route, ensuring value
for money. This involves reviewing previous plans and matching infrastructure changes
against the required outputs.
● To establish sustainable and cost effective maintenance regimes.
● To provide capacity for anticipated growth in passenger and freight business over the next
20-30 years, with substantially faster and more competitive journey times between major
cities served by the West Coast route.
● To provide an improved level of performance, safety and reliability, which will in turn
help the railway regain lost market share and increase the role it can play in the national
and regional economies.
● To achieve these objectives on a ‘working railway’ while allowing for the continuation of
key freight and passenger trafﬁcs during the rebuilding and enhancement work.
2. Key Outputs from this Strategy
In delivering this Strategy and meeting the above objectives, the Project will deliver a
modernised and sustainable West Coast railway. The success of the Project will also depend
on key outputs being achieved: for example, a 125 mile/h route between London and the
West Midlands, Manchester, Liverpool, the North West, North Wales and Scotland,
exploiting the capability of tilting trains to deliver much faster journey times. There will be
capacity for 80% more long distance passenger trains than today and for up to 60-70%
more freight paths than at present.
Performance outputs are also deﬁned. There will be better and more resilient performance,
with a target of 90% of long distance passenger services operating within 10 minutes of
advertised time, irrespective of the cause of delay in 2007-8 (and with intermediate
improvements to performance from 2004). There will be improved safety through the
provision of modernised infrastructure to current standards and the early deployment of
deliverable train protection measures. These outputs are to be delivered in a phased process,
with signiﬁcant beneﬁts being brought forward to 2004 and with completion scheduled
Other visible outputs include accelerated city centre journey times. London will be reached
from Manchester in less than two hours, London to Birmingham in 1h 20 minutes and the
best London to Glasgow journey time falls to 4 hours 15 minutes.
In addition, capacity for frequency enhancement is provided. London – Manchester services
improve to two trains per hour off peak and three trains per hour in the peak. London –
Birmingham all day capacity increases to four trains per hour – to be used initially only at
peak times, sufﬁcient for a doubling of today’s services.
There will be provision for growth in the high speed mail and logistics sector.
There will be extra capacity for the growth in London outer suburban services, taking
account of population growth plans in the Northampton/Milton Keynes area (whilst
allowing for continued operation of other trafﬁc on the route in a resilient manner).
There will also be two new fast Northampton – London 125 mile/h services in the
morning peak and two new through InterCity services between Northampton and key
centres on the WCML.
Regional commuter services around the main centres will be protected in carrying capacity,
with some service and train enhancements. A new group of medium distance inter-regional
services will be provided, using high quality trains on routes such as Birmingham to
Liverpool and Preston.
Capacity will be provided for upto 60-70% more freight trafﬁc along the route, and in
addition passenger and freight trafﬁc along the route will beneﬁt from improved
Finally, there will be an increased diversionary route capability to facilitate continuing
renewals and maintenance, including gauge enhancements and Crewe – Kidsgrove
3. Roles and Governance
In order to get the West Coast project delivered, the SRA has deﬁned and agreed roles and
responsibilities for itself and Network Rail to ensure direction and focus from all the teams
The SRA is responsible for the speciﬁcation of enhancement work and for the speciﬁcation
of the Project outputs, including those outputs which are achieved through renewals.
Network Rail is responsible for the condition of its assets, the stewardship of the network
and engineering and safety standards and policies.
For the WCRM Project, the SRA is acting as the Infrastructure Project’s Sponsor and
Network Rail is the long term owner and operator, as well as being the Project’s prime
contractor managing the reconstruction of the railway.
The Rail Regulator will determine the efﬁcient cost of the project, assess the impact on
track access charges, monitor and secure compliance with Network Rail’s licence
obligations, and approve or direct the terms of access agreements permitting operators to
use the route.
The Project delivery schedule is based on an unprecedented programme of engineering
activity between May 2003 and September 2004 including the temporary closure of certain
sections of line or blockades (where an alternative route exists to divert trafﬁc) to offer an
accelerated and more productive opportunity to upgrade the railway. Some of the work has
been concentrated over public holidays to reduce impact on the route’s main customer base.
Generally, work has been focused over this period in order to minimise disruption to the
upgraded services after 2004.
To ensure continuity of service throughout between North West England and London, the
Strategy provides for an alternative service between London St Pancras and Manchester
between 2003 and 2004, during the period when there is higher disruption on the core
WCML route. This way a high quality rail alternative is made available for passengers every
day, as work progresses. Other key destinations, such as Glasgow and Birmingham, will be
continuously linked directly to London throughout the period by the services of other
operators (GNER and Chiltern Railways).
5. Project Costs and Outputs
The scope speciﬁcation for the works on the route has recently been completed by Network
Rail in response to the SRA’s requirements, as detailed in this Strategy. In general, since
October 2002, it has been found possible to improve on the Strategy’s outputs. During this
interim period, Transport & Works Act powers have been obtained for key works in the
Trent Valley. The speciﬁcation is now being costed and programme changes made where
necessary. A new Project baseline is therefore being determined.
In October 2002, the Project Cost was estimated at £9.9bn, with some 75% being
renewals. Indications are that despite further improvements to the route’s ﬁnal outputs,
further cost efﬁciencies and scope reductions will yield a material reduction in the ﬁnal
cost of renewals and enhancements in comparison with the October 2002 estimate. The
SRA remains committed to driving down costs and must work within the resources
available to it.
The Project Cost is currently being validated through the baseline process described above,
which is a key impact into the Regulator’s Interim review.
6. Timing of enhanced outputs
This Strategy describes how the changed implementation arrangements have accelerated
the delivery of the upgraded route. To achieve the fully enhanced outputs is a very large
task, involving many industry parties and interfaces. It will be necessary to be assured well
in advance that all the essential components for the rail ‘system’ (especially infrastructure,
trains and track/train interface) are capable of delivery before a particular timetable date can
The current position is that these essential components should be assured by October 2003,
in sufﬁcient time for the pre-prepared advance timetable for the WCML and the directly
associated routes to be committed for September 2004. This phase brings the main elements
of improvement, with 125 mile/h running South of Crewe and Manchester and enhanced
capacity and frequencies. While a large amount of industry work is currently taking place to
ensure that this is delivered as forward plans are in place, until all the components are in
place, this implementation date cannot be ﬁnalised.
The subsequent phases will include journey time accelerations as the line speed North of
Crewe is increased from 110 mile/h to 125 mile/h. These improvement are planned for 2005.
Further major renewal and enhancement schemes are planned for the period 2006-8. These
schemes will enable incremental journey time accelerations, a further step change
improvement in capacity, and an uplift in route performance as the Trent Valley bottlenecks
are removed. As details of this part of the strategy are ﬁnalised, they will continue to be
subject to value-for-money scrutiny, in order to meet affordability constraints.
There is now a clear and deliverable Strategy for the WCML. The challenge now is
delivery. Whilst this document sets out clearly the way forward, it will now take sustained
and focused effort from all those charged with implementation, especially Network Rail,
Virgin Trains and all the many other contributors and partners. The prize is a railway ﬁt for
the 21st Century. A new West Coast Main Line.
1.1.1 The WCML is the most important trunk route on Britain’s rail network. It links London
and the South East with the largest English conurbations (Birmingham and Manchester),
as well as with Liverpool, North Wales, the North West, Cumbria and Scotland. The
route is the core national long distance freight route, and has signiﬁcant commuting ﬂows
around London, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham. The route was electriﬁed in the
early 1960s south of Manchester and Liverpool as a focal point of British Railways’
Modernisation Plan. There was extensive re-modelling, electriﬁcation, re-signalling with
power boxes and station re-building. The route from Weaver Junction, north of Crewe,
to Glasgow was electriﬁed, re-modelled and re-signalled in the early 1970s. The route
from Carstairs to Edinburgh was electriﬁed in 1991 (as part of the East Coast
1.1.2 Although the route was extensively renewed and upgraded as part of these major
investment schemes, work carried out since has been limited. Financial constraints meant
that maintenance and renewal work, essential to protect the value of the original
Modernisation Plan investment, was not undertaken. Infrastructure assets deteriorated
steadily to the point where, at the time of privatisation, signiﬁcant remedial work was
1.1.3 Although British Rail contemplated upgrades during the 1980s, no investment plans
emerged until driven by the service outputs of the PUG 1 (Passenger Upgrade 1) contract
agreed between Railtrack and the Ofﬁce of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) in 1996.
As part of its successful bid for the West Coast Trains franchise in 1997, Virgin Rail
Group (VRG) took the view that signiﬁcant increases in capacity would be needed for its
15-year franchise. A modiﬁed Track Access Agreement known as PUG 2 (Passenger
Upgrade 2) was subsequently agreed between VRG and Railtrack, endorsed by OPRAF
and approved by the Rail Regulator in June 1998. The commitments made by Railtrack
in PUG 2 included carrying out the backlog maintenance and renewal work as well as
upgrade and enhancement work.
1.1.4 From the outset, the cost of making good the arrears of maintenance and renewals, which
had built up over the previous 30 years, was known to be dominant in the Project.
1.1.5 The enhancements agreed in PUG 2 were to increase capacity for West Coast Trains’
services from ﬁve or six trains off-peak per hour to eight/nine in May 2002 and then to
10/11 in May 2005. Journey times would be reduced through the introduction of tilting
trains as in PUG 1, with line speeds increasing from 110 mile/h to 125 mile/h in 2002,
but with the addition of a further increase to 140 mile/h in 2005. Performance reliability
was also to be dramatically improved.
1.1.6 The PUG 2 agreement also aimed to protect existing commuter and regional passenger
capacity, existing mail and freight capacity, and provide additional freight-compatible
paths to accommodate growth.
1.1.7 In the years since then much work has been carried out. For example, many miles of track
and overhead line have been renewed, capacity improvement works at Proof House
Junction Birmingham, and the re-signalling and re-modelling of Euston Station in
London, Willesden and the Stoke area have all been completed.
1.1.8 However it became clear in late 1999 that the commitments made by Railtrack under the
PUG 2 contract were not fully achievable.
1.1.9 The project suffered from a reliance on new technology. The original intention was to
install moving block signalling. Most industry experts would now agree that major
upgrade projects such as this should not be dependent for successful realisation on blue
1.1.10 An attempt by Railtrack and VRG to resolve matters in September 2001 was almost
immediately followed by Railtrack being put into Railway Administration. The SRA was
invited by Government to intervene, to assess the position and ﬁnd a clear way forward.
1.2 The SRA’s involvement
1.2.1 In early 2002, the SRA initiated a detailed review of the West Coast Route Modernisation
(WCRM) programme, its outputs, schedule and costs, and co-ordinated discussions
between the main industry parties involved. When this review had clariﬁed the way
forward, although with a number of detailed points still outstanding, a draft Strategy
document was produced in October 2002.
1.2.2 Work continued in evaluating the scope of the WCRM Project, from a location-speciﬁc
and functional perspective. A revised speciﬁcation for the work was produced, to
which Network Rail is now working. The SRA is acting as sponsor, with implementation
of infrastructure changes the responsibility of Network Rail.
1.2.3 A high proportion of total expenditure and activity is devoted to the renewal of much of
the track, signals, and electrical equipment, together with the replacement of much of the
foundations of the railway. The Strategy for this renewal work has been developed further
by Network Rail, the ORR and the SRA since the draft was ﬁrst published. Costs are
being controlled and methods of delivery have been further reﬁned.
1.2.4 In accordance with its statutory duties, the SRA then embarked upon a consultation
exercise. Three thousand copies of the draft Strategy were printed. These were distributed
to some 350 organisations, including the Rail Regulator, Scottish Executive, National
Assembly for Wales and RPCs, together with regional and local authorities, user groups
and the rail industry itself.
1.2.5 Overall, an excellent response was received to the whole consultation exercise. Just under
half the organisations supplied with the draft Strategy replied. In general there was an
appreciation that the SRA was indeed getting to grips with the issues and some practical
deadlines had been set for the delivery of improvements. The co-operation and input
provided by the railway industry is gratefully acknowledged.
1.2.6 Meetings were arranged with individual stakeholders and groups of such bodies. Nearly
30 presentations were made throughout the length of route, attended by over 250 people
with an interest in the future of this trunk UK transport corridor. These events helped
gauge the strength of feeling and priorities afforded to the particular issues. This, along
with the written responses, has helped inform the work of the SRA in formulating this
Strategy. In particular the work of the ‘West Coast 250’ group, along with the interest
shown by the RPCs, a number of Members of Parliament, local government ofﬁcers and
members is greatly appreciated.
1.2.7 The Strategy has now been developed by the SRA, incorporating and taking account of this
consultation and ongoing work within the railway industry, plus the outcome of relevant
Multi-Modal Studies commissioned by the Department for Transport’s regional partners.
In particular the Midlands – Manchester (MidMan) study conclusions have been considered
within this strategy.
1.2.8 Practical lessons learnt from the introduction of the Cross Country timetable in
September 2002, and an insistence on the need to secure more resilient operation
throughout the railway network, have been very important considerations in preparation
of the Strategy.
1.2.9 The Strategy takes account of the SRA’s Freight Strategy and the SRA’s updated (2003)
Strategic Plan and has been prepared consistent with the SRA’s Capacity Utilisation
Policy. Furthermore this Strategy has been prepared under the terms of Section 206 of the
Transport Act 2000 after consultation, and hence constitutes a formal Strategy of the SRA
in respect of its statutory purposes.
1.2.10 The Strategy which follows sets out clearly the deﬁned objectives for the project and a
delivery plan, and is the outcome of the review and consultation process.
2. The Strategy
2.1 The SRA’s approach
2.1.1 The SRA decided that a formal Strategy was needed for the WCML because the approach
being followed by Railtrack was, after four years, showing no sign of coming to a
successful conclusion. There was a requirement to balance the competing demand for
increased capacity for passenger and freight trafﬁc, to ensure better and more resilient
performance, along with the overriding need to continue to improve safety.
2.1.2 The SRA has taken a lead in specifying the outputs required from the route. The SRA has
closely involved the operators and stakeholders along the route in developing the strategy
and the outputs. Furthermore, in the last 12 months and particularly since the creation of
Network Rail, better scope deﬁnition, cost and programme control has been achieved.
2.1.3 The SRA’s approach has been to develop a framework to cover the following elements
that constitute the ﬁnal strategy:
a) Deﬁnition of the objectives of the route – short term and long term enhancement and
b) Deﬁnition of the required outputs of the route and a business case to support them.
The outputs are based on the following dimensions:
● Journey times (see section 3.2.5)
● Capacity growth for both passenger and freight services (see section 3.4)
● Capacity for other users of the route (see section 3.5 – 3.15)
● Safety improvement (see section 2.13)
● Performance and reliability (see section 2.9 and 3.16)
● Track condition to provide good ride quality and sustain high speed running
(see section 2.5)
c) Clariﬁcation and validation of inputs to achieve the desired outputs.
d) Development of an implementation methodology covering possession planning and
scheme design, and ensuring value for money is realised (see section 6).
e) Clariﬁcation of roles of all parties involved in the Project.
f ) A plan of work that is achievable and agreed.
g) Conducting a formal consultation exercise with Stakeholders on the route in order to
inform decisions (see Appendix E for details of consultation).
2.1.4 As the Project was in the full implementation stage, it was essential to review all aspects
within very short timescales so that the new direction could be determined and
implemented as early as possible.
The prime parameters which had to be reviewed were:
a) Route asset condition (2.4)
b) Line speed enhancements (2.5)
c) Capacity for more Long Distance passenger trains (2.6)
d) Capacity for freight growth (2.7)
e) Capacity for other vital route users (2.8)
f) Performance (2.9)
g) Maintainability (2.10)
h) Traction power supplies and distribution system (2.11)
i) Location speciﬁc works (2.12)
j) Technology applications (2.13)
k) Technical acceptance (2.14)
l) Project costs, control and governance (2.15)
m) Implementation and deliverability (2.16)
n) Timetabling process (2.17)
o) Renewals within the Project (2.18)
p) Key outputs from Strategy (2.19).
2.1.5 The resolution of the solutions, policies and route outputs was based on a collaborative
approach with extensive consultation with and inputs from:
a) Network Rail
Close co-operation with the WCRM Project Team, Regions (Zones) and Functional Heads.
b) Passenger and Freight Operators
Very regular practical input through joint working groups.
Fully involved in the Project Development Group
d) Stakeholders, User Groups and Consultees
Extensive consultation took place on the 9 October 2002 draft Strategy and feedback was
received, both formally and at many presentations and local discussions. A summary of this
consultation is given at Appendix E.
e) Technical Experts
Small teams of highly experienced professionals (‘Constructive Challenge Teams’) were set
the task of validating and challenging the project’s engineering scope and speciﬁcation
against the required outputs.
f ) West Coast Joint Board
This cross-industry Board has greatly accelerated the process of agreement of change. While
formal industry processes have not been eliminated, it has been invaluable to achieve rapid
consensus and a broad common direction. This has often been outside formal deadlines
where urgent change was essential.
The outputs of this review are detailed below.
2.1.6 Inevitably, in producing the Strategy, choices have had to be made. Not all of the
potential aspirations identiﬁed by customers or operating companies can be
accommodated on the WCML at a realistic cost or in terms of value for money.
2.1.7 When making choices, the SRA has regard to the Directions and Guidance issued to the
SRA by the Secretary of State for Transport. Both value for money and affordability
are considered. Choices have been informed by the results of appraisals of the differing
values to the economy of various types of passenger and freight trains at different periods of
2.2 The SRA’s objectives
The SRA’s objective is to deﬁne a West Coast Strategy to deliver the following requirements:
● To address the major backlog of maintenance and renewals on the route, ensuring value
for money. This involves reviewing previous plans and matching infrastructure changes
against the required outputs.
● To establish sustainable and cost effective maintenance regimes.
● To provide capacity for growth in passenger and freight business over the next 20-30
years, with substantially faster and more competitive journey times between major cities
served by the West Coast route.
● To provide an improved level of performance, safety and reliability, which will in turn
help the railway regain lost market share and increase the role it can play in national and
● To achieve these objectives on a ‘working railway’ while allowing for the continuation of
all key freight and passenger trafﬁcs during the rebuilding and enhancement work.
2.3 Issues and strategic elements
The following sections explain the issues and choices which were faced in formulating the
SRA Strategy for the WCML. It also summarises the approach, solutions and policies to
be adopted and the proposed means of implementation for each of the parameters listed
in 2.1.4 above.
2.4 Route asset condition
The WCML generally is in need of major renewal, with substantial elements of the track
foundations, the track itself, the signalling and the overhead line in need of complete
renewal. If urgent action were not taken, the condition of the route would degrade
further, journey times would have to be extended and performance levels would become
● To continue and to accelerate renewals on the route through the existing WCRM
Project mechanism so that the route is essentially restored to a sustainable condition by
the end of March 2006.
● To bring together ‘renewal’ and ‘upgrade’ works and possessions for more cost effective
and less disruptive project delivery.
Certain elements of work such as Rugby station area and the Trent Valley line plus its
adjacent junctions are planned to extend slightly beyond 2006 because the Strategy depends
upon planning powers and essential renewals which physically cannot be implemented earlier.
2.5 Line speed enhancements
a) Journey times for long distance passenger trains on the WCML have not been very
attractive commercially for some time, given the importance of the route and the
markets it serves. New high speed tilting trains for the route are in the course of being
delivered and an upgrade of the route with higher line speeds for these trains is part
way through implementation.
b) The introduction of the new trains and the route upgrade are both delayed beyond the
originally planned timescales in the West Coast Trains/Railtrack contract. Furthermore,
there appeared to be a strong possibility that the rolling stock delivery might be in
advance of the route upgrade. The scope of works needed to provide a higher line speed
proﬁle, the interdependency of speed enhancement on asset condition and the need to
recover the backlog of renewals, plus the route’s ongoing maintenance requirements,
which had been seriously under estimated.
c) Higher speed operation requires higher track quality to be delivered and sustained.
d) Speed restrictions below the ruling line speed have a particularly negative effect on
● To continue the programme of line speed enhancement work to a maximum of 125
mile/h throughout the route, exploiting the access and programme opportunities and
cost efﬁciencies which the extensive renewals programme brings.
The speciﬁc line speed enhancement works have been totally recast, implementing further
improvements in conjunction with renewals where these are cost effective and in a small
number of cases, where the journey time beneﬁt was not cost effective, to implement
The extent of line speed enhancements is illustrated in ﬁgure 2 (section 2.12).
● To improve line speeds further at locations where line speeds are low, such as at stations
and junctions, in order to improve capacity and speed for all trains on the route.
● To specify minimum track quality standards.
This will enable high speed operation to be sustained and inform the planning of future
● To improve segregation between high speed passenger and heavy freight trafﬁcs to the
maximum extent practicable, enabling the higher track standards required for the
passenger services to be achieved and maintained more cost effectively.
● To overhaul completely the project delivery and implementation arrangements to enable
the outputs to be accelerated and the key phase of service improvements to be
implemented in 2004. This is a gain of some 18 months on the programme as
envisaged in early 2002.
This will enable an improved match between train and infrastructure implementation.
2.6 Capacity for more Long Distance passenger trains
a) Trafﬁc growth on the WCML has undoubtedly been depressed because of the poor
performance and the condition of the route and trains. Delivery of the accelerated
journey times and better performance will necessitate a signiﬁcant increase in capacity
to cater for the step change expected in usage. The original peak hour train plan
assumed the same train frequency all day long, with no peak enhancements. This
would imply (unless radical pricing policies were adopted) peak period overcrowding
and, presumably, some over supply at off-peak periods.
b) The earlier plan for the Cross Country network was to serve a wide range of
destinations and with many intermediate calls, thus encouraging shorter distance
trafﬁc to use such trains. It required intensive use of rolling stock with short turn
round allowances at some terminals. This resulted in overcrowding and much late
running, neither of which was tolerable.
● To provide capacity for 80% more Long Distance passenger train paths.
The provision of this extra capacity on the route will be accelerated to the maximum extent
practicable so that overall passenger capacity will be available for the forecast signiﬁcant
growth. In addition, existing freight and other services will be able to be sustained while still
achieving the vital increase in long distance passenger services and the speed increases for West
Coast Trains services in Autumn 2004. Further capacity increases will then be available as
the remaining enhancement works are completed.
● To provide ﬂexibility in the provision of extra capacity for long distance passenger services.
There will be signiﬁcantly more capacity at peak times, some extra capacity for off peak and
weekend frequency enhancements and only small increases in evening services.
● To increase market segmentation, with the Cross Country business concentrating more
on the key long distance ﬂows between main centres.
Regular, high quality groups of inter-regional services will be introduced to cater for some
medium distance ﬂows and to provide improved local and regional links.
The provision of capacity for Cross Country services has been adjusted following experience
with the enhanced frequencies on the Cross Country network from September 2002.
2.7 Capacity for freight growth
Certain requirements were imposed on Railtrack to increase capacity for freight between
London and Crewe as part of the undertakings given to the Rail Regulator in relation to
the Track Access Agreement with VRG for the route upgrade. However, it became clear to
the SRA that there were three fundamental issues to face if freight growth was to be
a) There was inadequate capacity enhancement work and consequently no viable
timetable plan to provide adequate capacity for freight trafﬁc, either for existing ﬂows
or for growth in the daytime period, with freight having to be transferred in the main
to night hours.
b) Route maintenance requirements had been underestimated and much of the night
time line capacity would still be reduced because of this critical activity.
c) No provision had been developed for the freight trafﬁc growth to be accommodated
north of Crewe, particularly with the enhanced Cross Country services superimposed
on the fast West Coast ones.
● To provide capacity for up to 60-70% more trunk freight paths on the route with
provision for longer (775m) trains and increased gauge clearance.
Capacity increases for freight are planned by the provision of further infrastructure
enhancements, some coupled with renewals, such as at Rugby where trafﬁcs will be fully
segregated and with some enhancement schemes, such as four tracking of the Trent Valley
route between Tamworth and Armitage.
● To reduce the speed differential between the higher speed passenger trains and freight by
a greater use of electric, as opposed to diesel traction on the WCML.
This will enable growth to be accommodated without the delay and high cost of further
Freight trafﬁc will gain from the ﬂexible approach being taken to long distance passenger
capacity, with the SRA’s Strategy securing existing daytime ﬂows, enabling some potential for
growth in the daytime hours and allowing substantial growth in freight trafﬁc in the
important evening period. At night the prime users of the route’s capacity are freight trafﬁc
and infrastructure maintenance teams.
2.8 Capacity for other vital route users
a) The capacity for other users of the route could be substantially reduced by the increase
in long distance passenger and freight trafﬁcs and the increasing speed of the long
distance services which reduces the capacity for slower passenger trains sharing the
same route. In particular, the London commuter trains will no longer be able to share
the fast lines between Euston and Milton Keynes when the long distance trains are
operating at full peak frequencies at 125 mile/h (tilt) line speed.
b) The ability of the long distance services to handle peak commuter loads from Milton
Keynes will be reduced, primarily because line capacity will not permit many peak
hour stops and also because the capacity of the new trains on the route is needed for
the trafﬁc growth in the long distance markets.
c) Concerns have been expressed about interactions between the upgraded West Coast
outputs and local and regional services, particularly around busy urban centres.
● To increase the maximum speed on the slow lines to 100 mile/h between Euston and
This will enable journey times to be maintained for the faster services on the route, despite
the change from the ‘fast’ to the ‘slow’ lines at peak times.
● To introduce new high performance electric trains on the stopping services on both the
Birmingham – Coventry – Northampton corridor and on the Northampton – Euston
line stopping trains in the peak hours.
This will minimise the loss of capacity because of different speed mixes on the same line.
● To lengthen platforms so that 12-car, instead of 8-car trains, can operate between
London and Northampton and the infrastructure is in place to enable future growth to
Additional trains will be deployed on the route so that existing customer volumes can be
maintained notwithstanding the loss of the longer distance train capacity between Milton
Keynes and London.
● To introduce new timetable patterns, with more inbuilt resilience and less timetable
interaction between busy corridors so that train paths can be made more robust and
network performance improved.
These new timetable patterns will reduce the need for more extensive infrastructure works
but will bring the need for some additional operational costs which will be taken into
account by the SRA through the franchise renegotiable/reletting process.
● To provide additional infrastructure at a signiﬁcant number of locations so that existing
trafﬁc can be reliably sustained and the growth in trunk passenger and freight
Headways will be improved along the route and the speciﬁc locations where capacity will be
increased are shown in Figure 2 (section 2.12) and detailed in Appendix A.
a) The performance of the route has not been satisfactory for some time, although
recently substantial improvement has taken place – primarily because of the reduction
in route speed restrictions achieved through the renewals and the improved programme
management. It is essential that the WCML is dependable for all its users following the
b) As the usage of the route increases, so does the effect of any technical or operational
problem, and unless active improvement measures are taken, performance will decline
when trafﬁc volumes increase.
c) Future use of the WCML will be intense, with very high trafﬁc densities.
● To improve route performance so that a target 90% of long distance trains arrive at their
destination within 10 minutes of scheduled time.
● To ensure that other services on the route also operate with improved performance.
● To renew the infrastructure using appropriate standards of materials and design and to
balance whole life costs against the likelihood of infrastructure failure.
● To improve line capacity and performance by enhancement works which give more
● To improve ﬂexibility by the introduction of more bi-directional signalling where
parallel diversionary routes are not available.
● To improve diversionary route capability.
● To reduce the interdependencies in the timetable.
There will be less cross-linking and increased turnround resilience, so that any one delay has
a reduced knock on effect on other services.
● To implement a more resilient standard pattern timetable, recognising that it is essential
to provide for recovery from disruption.
This requirement for resilience on the key ﬂows on the route will be placed above serving
certain smaller trafﬁc ﬂows.
● To take into account the need to retain a margin of capacity over and above that
required for train paths.
This will provide a degree of resilience within the timetable.
● To deploy new trains on the route, designed for higher standards of reliability.
● To improve the security of lineside fencing to reduce the number of externally
● To strengthen traction power supplies.
● To provide more resilience to the power supplies to signalling systems.
● To introduce condition monitoring facilities into equipment design.
● To progress joint contingency plans involving Network Rail and train operators.
This will ensure that there is an agreed plan to handle disruptive events.
While the route asset condition will be restored to a sustainable condition by this Project
(see 2.4 above), there will be a critical requirement for ongoing maintenance and renewal
to ensure that degradation does not take place and that the route’s outputs can be reliably
delivered. This will be against the background of increased trafﬁc and the need for cost
● To use more durable and reliable infrastructure components which will need less
For example, track relaying will use a heavier cross section rail, with extended life.
● To build in the need for maintenance into the network design.
This will be implemented along the route (see section 2.12 below).
● To improve maintenance opportunities by the introduction of more bi-directional
● To improve diversionary route capability.
This will enable longer and more efﬁcient possessions for renewal and maintenance to
2.11 Traction power supplies and distribution system
a) The enhanced use of the route by more high speed and high performance passenger
trains and the necessary move to increase electrically hauled freight tonnage requires
additional traction power supplies.
b) The mid 2002 work by the electriﬁcation Constructive Challenge Team highlighted a
serious deﬁciency in the power supply speciﬁcation, with inadequate power provision
to sustain the timetable.
c) Higher speed electrically hauled passenger trains require modiﬁcations to the existing
overhead line equipment.
d) Key components of the overhead line equipment on much of the route are nearing the
end of their life and are in need of extensive renewals.
● To improve power supplies substantially by the implementation of an ‘autotransformer’
system on certain route sections and hybrid booster/autotransformers elsewhere.
This change was directed in August 2002, but equipment and installation lead times
have meant that the enhanced power supplies will not be commissioned until early 2005.
Power supplies will be adequate up to then except in very extreme cumulative supply failure
● To provide additional power supply points.
● To renew overhead line equipment where necessary.
New equipment will be designed for high speed operation. In other locations, modiﬁcation
will be made to the overhead line equipment for the higher speeds.
● To provide improved condition monitoring equipment and processes.
2.12 Location speciﬁc works
Issues and Challenges
a) Initially, the WCRM Project had largely prioritised the necessary works associated with
renewals for the speciﬁc needs of the longer distance passenger market.
b) The requirement for certain facilities within the proposed changes had not been
challenged effectively on a value for money basis.
c) The delivery route towards a changed network speciﬁcation had not been robustly
examined when the speciﬁcations had been developed.
d) Maximum opportunity had not been taken to improve network functionality and
outputs in conjunction with renewals.
e) Insufﬁcient attention had been given to the long term requirements of the route,
particularly relating to minimising the ongoing costs of asset ownership.
f ) The infrastructure build had not been adequately matched to timetable requirements
to achieve the required outputs for the route.
g) The Project was already well under way on the basis of the above and it was necessary
to minimise programme disruption.
h) For technical reasons, many aspects of Project implementation were considerably
delayed and many site speciﬁc schemes were at risk of causing major network
disruption after the 2004 implementation of the improved route outputs.
i) The SRA saw that these delays might, providing action was taken rapidly, provide an
opportunity to seek a more effective approach, achieving better value for money and
j) Parts of the proposed programme of work required Transport & Works powers and it
was not possible to integrate elements of the programme fully in certain locations
because of the uncertainty which this created.
The whole of the infrastructure functional speciﬁcation has been re-examined on a joint
basis, involving train operators and Network Rail, with the SRA leading the process and
deﬁning the outputs. This process involved extensive timetable work so that a better
understanding could be achieved of the match between inputs and route outputs.
Recognising that the works programme was already in the implementation phase, the
process was undertaken rapidly, yet as robustly as practicable. Many hours of intensive
work have taken place over a short period, and thanks are expressed to those bodies
participating and providing the necessary expertise. There have been many useful
contributions to the work in deﬁning the speciﬁcation (which is detailed in section A8).
● To action an agreed and revised functional speciﬁcation.
Long term cost efﬁciency and output requirements have led to some network simpliﬁcation.
Journey times have been reduced and capacity increased further within the new speciﬁcation.
Further journey time reductions will be achieved as the planned infrastructure programme
● To underpin the new functional speciﬁcation by a delivery mechanism which
encompasses reasonable possession and disruption parameters.
Major disruption will be more concentrated in the period up to Autumn 2004 and in more
standardised normal engineering opportunities thereafter.
● To take advantage of the improvement in immediate term possession opportunities to
increase renewals scope, with improved efﬁciency.
Particular attention will be given to the track and the track formation, to improve asset life
and ride quality.
● To incorporate the ongoing maintenance and renewal requirements within the site
There will be greater network ﬂexibility with diversionary capability built in, so as to
facilitate effective and efﬁcient future maintenance and renewal regimes.
● To integrate more fully certain route improvements within the renewals programme.
Transport & Works powers for certain improvements, particularly in the Trent Valley, were
obtained in April 2003 and a revised programme is being developed, bringing cost and
delivery improvements. We expect that the future powers needed to complete the quadrupling
of the Trent Valley will be obtained later this year, enabling this integration process to be
West Coast Route Speed and Capacity Improvements
Speed Improvements to
give a Ruling Line Speed of:
Up to 110 mile/h
115 – 125 mile/h
Glasgow Edinburgh Locations with capacity or
Line of route capacity or
Penrith Warrington to Motherwell – Enabling works
for future bi-directional signalling and loop
extensions added to renewals scope
Lancaster – Speed Improvements
and Network Simplification
Euxton Junction – Doubling
Wigan – Capacity & Bidirectional Signalling Warrington Crewe to Trafford Park – Gauge Works
Llandudno Liverpool Manchester
Holyhead Junction Stockport – Capacity Works
Stoke Line – Gauge Works
Crewe Crewe to Kidsgrove – Electrification
Crewe Northwards – Stoke
Stafford – Remodelling
Colwich – Remodelling
Wolverhampton – Capacity Trent Valley – 4 Tracking
Birmingham New St. – Capacity Nuneaton – Flyover and Capacity
Birmingham International – Capacity
Coventry Rugby – Remodelling
Wolverton – Turnback
Milton Keynes Bletchley – Remodelling
Ledburn – Capacity Tring – Turnback
Bourne End – Capacity Watford Junction
2.13 Technology applications
a) As the WCML is such an important main line and because there is an extensive
programme of renewals taking place against the context of increased future usage, there
is an understandable wish to deploy the latest, the best and most reliable technology to
deliver the route outputs.
b) There is a strong risk that this will lead to the deployment of technology which has not
yet achieved a proven track record of achievement against forecast performance levels.
c) Some elements of work achieved to date have not proved capable of delivering against
the planned performance requirements.
d) Technological innovation had previously been the basis of some contractual outputs.
e) Train protection and other systems had been speciﬁed which were not yet developed for a
route such as the WCML and the Project was being used as a development vehicle.
f ) Technological innovation has in some cases advanced beyond the development of
matching and validated operational practices. This introduces serious approval,
implementation and exploitation risk.
g) Technology issues have been responsible for a signiﬁcant proportion of the scope
changes and programme delay in the early years of the Project.
h) It is necessary to commit to ﬁrm timescales for output delivery and to reduce cost and
● To move towards a greater reliance on established and proven technology.
Network Rail, in conjunction with its suppliers, will seek to resolve urgently some of the
problems with, and improve reliability of, equipment which has been installed on the route
in the early phases.
● To reduce innovation and reliance on development of new systems and technology,
while striking the balance to achieve a step change in route performance.
● To validate independently some of the key decisions made to change from established
As an example, the change from track circuits to axle counters for train detection has already
● To improve safety as soon as practicable.
Train protection will be greatly improved by the deployment of TPWS and TPWS+.
ERTMS, incorporating ATP, will be developed as a separate national initiative.
● To control the programme and cost effects of technology speciﬁcations more carefully
through the new project control and governance arrangements as described below.
2.14 Technical acceptance
To achieve the improved route outputs in Winter 2004 and beyond, there are three key
areas of technical acceptance which are critical.
a) The infrastructure needs to be accepted as being technically compatible with
requirements of higher speed operation, including those for tilting trains.
b) The new Pendolino and Voyager trains need to be accepted as being technically capable
of high speed operation and cleared for tilt working.
c) The track-train interface issues need to be adequately proven so that there is assurance
that there is full compatibility within the total operational and technical ‘system’ to
deliver the required outputs.
The elements above need to be delivered before it is possible to determine and then
commence the full programme of crew training or to guarantee the implementation of
the route’s outputs.
● To continue to strengthen the joint, collaborative approach to resolution of issues, both
at a technical and senior managerial level.
This will continue until there is full technical and safety assurance of the infrastructure, the
trains and the track/train interface.
Should these issues emerge, competent and adequate technical resources are required to
address them. Different technical solutions may be possible, on different parts of the total
‘system’. A senior and very experienced external technical expert is working on behalf of the
joint WCRM Project Board and is facilitating this approach, ensuring that programme and
cost considerations are fully recognised. In some cases, there may be the need to implement
short term solutions so that programmes can be adhered to, while also researching longer
● To allow for safety approval requirements between the completion of the physical works
at a location or along a line of route and the programme requirement for full service
operation at the enhanced outputs.
● To manage the crew training programme in conjunction with the infrastructure
This will ensure that appropriate sections of route are completed to enable full training at
125 mile/h and with tilt operation.
The programme has recognised the need for the completion of crew familiarisation after route
sections are modiﬁed and available for high speed operation, including tilt, but before the
commitment for timetabled operation.
● To link the timetable process (see 2.17) with the technical acceptance process.
There is the requirement to be assured of the delivery of the full technical and operational
‘system’ by October 2003 before the fully developed advance WCML timetable for Autumn
2004 is ﬁrmly committed.
2.15 Project costs, control and governance
a) The scale of the project brings many complex interfaces which create the risk that
project scope may not be sufﬁciently controlled, with functional and technical changes
being introduced from a variety of sources and without consideration of the system
engineering, cost, value and programme effect.
b) The scale of expenditure and work is such that extremely tight control of contractor
costs is critical.
c) Strong programme management is essential on such a substantial engineering project,
with many interfaces and output deadlines.
d) The route is, in effect, a very complex system and strong management of the many
contractual, operational and technical interface issues is necessary.
e) Working on a live railway is much more difﬁcult than work on a green-ﬁeld basis
which is the norm for projects, in railway or other areas. Particular issues are coping
with daily reversion to full service, line safety, passenger handling, materials logistics as
well as public perception.
f ) The project was already in the implementation phase without a clear scope deﬁnition
or the processes necessary even for a conventional large project being demonstrably
effective. To change a project of this size whilst it is under way is not straightforward
but stopping to regroup was not considered an option.
To implement strong project scope programme and cost controls:
● New Project governance arrangements are in place, with joint direction and an agreed
relationship between Network Rail and the SRA, with active participation from the Rail
● The SRA is the client for the route upgrade. The SRA is responsible for the speciﬁcation
of enhancement work and for the speciﬁcation of the route outputs, including those
outputs which are achieved through renewals.
● Network Rail is responsible for asset condition and technical standards and has
introduced controls to minimise ‘scope creep’.
● Small teams of industry technical experts, jointly sponsored by Network Rail, ORR and
the SRA and termed ‘Constructive Challenge Teams’, are providing assurance on design,
scope and programme across a variety of technical disciplines.
● Effective measures for contractor cost and output control have been implemented by
Network Rail and there is a strong commitment that these aspects will be given the
necessary importance for the remainder of the Project.
● New programme management arrangements have been implemented, with additional
international programme management contractors supporting Network Rail in this
● System interfaces, in particular that between track and train, are now being more
effectively managed and considered as an integrated programme.
● As the programme has been redeﬁned, so that the infrastructure and the trains as well as
the functional outputs can physically be achieved, relationships have improved. This is
essential to an undertaking with so many institutional interfaces. Now there is an
increased joint determination by all those who must deliver the project and it is
important to ensure that this constructive approach is sustained.
2.16 Implementation and deliverability
The Project assessment work in early 2002 indicated that there was a strong risk that the
service enhancements could not be achieved until 2005-6, particularly given the
importance of improving capacity and line speeds simultaneously as described in sections
2.4 to 2.6 above. The latest Pendolino train delivery programme, albeit later than that
originally contracted, indicated that the majority of the new 125 mile/h trains should be
ready for introduction in mid-2004.
●To accelerate the programme of works to achieve as close a match as possible between the
delivery of most of the new trains and the completion of much of the infrastructure
improvements, so that earlier overall service improvements could be achieved.
● To make the necessary arrangements to include longer and more efﬁcient possessions, so
that costs could be reduced and the outputs advanced.
● To provide improved diversionary opportunities so that customers are retained on rail
during the period of intensive route upgrading.
● To improve programme management to underpin robust delivery of work.
● To ensure that each element of the functional speciﬁcation for the upgrade is supported
by a clear programme and delivery route, while recognising that the WCML is a very
busy route with important customers and not a ‘green ﬁeld’ work site.
● To achieve the key service improvements in Autumn 2004, with infrastructure delivery
now more closely matching the expected commissioning plan for the new trains which
have been ordered for the route.
2.17 Timetabling process
a) The scale of timetable change associated with the ﬁrst phase of implementation of the
upgraded outputs on the WCML and associated routes, particularly the West Midlands
and North West, is very signiﬁcant.
b) Given the importance of the route and its interactions, the timetable changes on the
WCML, if not well controlled, could require changes to a very signiﬁcant proportion of
c) The rail industry timetable planning process has had to cope with a considerable level
of change in recent years and has limited resources.
d) It is essential to implement service enhancements on the WCML as early as these can
be robustly delivered.
e) The implementation of the infrastructure enhancements, while signiﬁcant changes will
be made in 2004, will be incremental until the planned completion of the Project in
2007-8. Ongoing major change cannot, however, be resourced or robustly
● To provide adequate resources, joint industry input and to limit the geographical impact
of the major West Coast timetable revision.
A separate Network Rail timetable team has been allocated to the work on the new WCML
This team is operating under the sponsorship of a cross-industry working group, with
operators, Network Rail and the SRA working together to develop optimised timetables,
considering all users of routes in a particular area in a single process.
The interaction between the WCML changes and the rest of the network is being minimised
by ﬁxing the position of most of the train services which operate in a generally West to East
direction across the route and also having major interactions with other main routes. For
example, Cross Country off the WCML, TransPennine and other longer distance passenger
and freight services are being considered as ﬁxed points and the new WCML timetable built
around these parameters.
The timetable is being designed, for the congested route south of Crewe and Manchester, on
the basis of one which will only require limited structural change between the ﬁrst major
implementation phase in 2004 and the planned completion of the remaining infrastructure
works in 2007-8. Incremental changes will be incorporated at standard timetable change
dates for the route north of Crewe to Preston, Scotland and Liverpool when the route
improvements are completed in 2005.
● To allow for potential delay in resolution of any technical or training issues (see 2.14)
while accelerating the delivery of the route outputs as for as practicable.
The current programme for infrastructure works and train delivery, coupled with the
measures taken to secure Project delivery, indicate that Autumn 2004 is the most appropriate
time to introduce the upgraded outputs and the new timetable. These critical elements will
be reconﬁrmed at a special WCML timetable conference in late October 2003 and a ﬁnal
decision made on the implementation date.
2.18 Renewals within the Project
The project comprises enhancements and a major programme of asset renewals, making
good the backlog that has built up over several decades of indecision and neglect. Apart
from part of the Trent Valley multiple tracking project (which has recently received TWA
powers) and completion of the revised Rugby and Stafford area works, the renewal and
upgrade programme is planned to be completed under this Strategy by 31 March 2006.
These speciﬁc schemes have a major renewal element which will continue to be managed
as a major project. Thereafter, the WCML will migrate to become like all other parts of
the national network, with renewals and maintenance activities carried out as a matter of
course under the normal management arrangements. Further details of renewals are
included in section 5.
2.19 Key outputs from Strategy
An overview of the outputs from the Strategy is given in the Executive Summary and the
detailed outputs are covered in the sections 3.2 to 3.18 which follow.
3. Strategic Elements of Capacity and other Outputs from the West Coast
3.1.1 Capacity outputs within the Strategy have been developed to achieve a balance for local,
regional, InterCity passenger services and freight services. Other factors including
consultation responses, experience of the operation of Cross Country services since the
introduction of the Winter 2002 timetable and a review of the affordability and value for
money of acquiring extra trains, have meant that a few capacity assumptions built into
the draft Strategy have had to be re-visited.
3.1.2 Indicative timetables have been produced to demonstrate short to medium term use of
the capacity provided by this Strategy. They represent the latest thinking of the industry
parties – an approach that is well balanced, as well as deliverable.
3.1.3 The detail of the service speciﬁcations for the 2004 initial phase of improved route output
is given in Appendix B.
3.1.4 This section describes the capacity and key journey times delivered by the Strategy after
Project completion and at the initial step change in outputs from Autumn 2004. As
would be expected from an upgrade taking a medium and long term view of the route,
not all of this capacity is likely to be fully used in the initial years.
3.1.5 The work on the 2004 timetable is indicating that the forecast initial demand from the
upgraded InterCity services can be met within the Pendolino train order of 53 nine-car
trains. In particular, timetable solutions have been able to deliver the fully enhanced
frequencies at the busiest time of day, when the capacity is most required.
3.1.6 As trafﬁc growth develops, there may well be a business case for further frequency
enhancements and/or an order for additional high speed tilting diesel or electric trains or
additional vehicles to lengthen existing trains formations.
3.2 West Coast services (London to Scotland, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham)
3.2.1 The infrastructure to be provided will enable West Coast Trains’ services to use Class 390
Pendolinos at a maximum speed of 125 mile/h throughout the trunk sections of the
London – Birmingham / Manchester / Liverpool / Glasgow route. Journey time
improvements will be substantial and the route capacity will permit an increase in
frequencies. A more balanced use of line capacity has been a signiﬁcant factor in enabling a
resilient timetable to be developed with adequate capacity for both trunk freight and long
distance passenger services. This will be achieved without a signiﬁcant increase in the scope
of infrastructure works necessary or a loss in the performance level of the outputs.
3.2.2 The capacity provided by infrastructure changes for long distance passenger services for
different periods of the day is shown below, modiﬁed to reﬂect the changed circumstances
since the publication of the draft Strategy.
After the upgraded outputs are fully available, there will be capacity for the following
indicative maximum hourly frequencies (Monday to Friday) for long distance passenger
services to/from London. The upgrade is planned to be completed in 2007-8.
London to/from Peak Off peak Evening
Birmingham 4 4 2
Manchester 3 2 1
Liverpool 1-2* 1 1
Preston 1 Every 2h 1
Preston and Scotland 1 1 -
Holyhead Every 2h Every 2h **
Total (trains per hour) 11 or 12 9 5 or 6
* One extra train to London in am peak hour and one from London in pm peak hour
** One train only
The time periods in the above table are:
Peak London Arrivals 0800 – 1000
London Departures 1600 – 1900
Off peak London Arrivals Before 0800 and 1000--c.2100
London Departures Before 1600
Evening Times as at origin station After 1900
3.2.3 In order to maximise the use of line capacity and to improve performance the timetable
pattern in relation to the intermediate station calls will be constructed so as to reﬂect the
priority being given to service resilience and the higher volume and longer distance ﬂows.
3.2.5 Indicative journey times in minutes, with number of intermediate stops for long distance
passenger services will be as follows:
London Euston to/from Now Winter 2004 2005 2007-8*
Time Stops Time Stops Time Stops Time Stops
(hr min) (hr min) (hr min) (hr min)
Birmingham New St (fast) 1h 39m 1 1h 23m 1 1h 22m 1 1h 18m 1
Birmingham New Street 1h 43m 3 1h 28m 3 1h 26m 3 1h 23m 3
Coventry 1h 11m 1 1h 05m 1 1h 04m 1 59m 1
Manchester peak (fastest) n/a n/a 2h 04m 1 2h 03m 1 1h 57m 1
Manchester fast via Stoke n/a n/a 2h 08m 2 2h 06m 2 2h 02m 2
Manchester via Stoke 2h 41m 4 2h 15m 4 2h 14m 4 2h 10m 4
Stoke 1h 51m 1 1h 32m 0 1h 31m 0 1h 28m 0
Liverpool (fast) n/a n/a 2h 14m 2 2h 12m 2 2h 08m 2
Liverpool 2h 53m 5 2h 27m 5 2h 24m 5 2h 21m 5
Crewe 2h 08m 3 1h 46m 2 1h 45m 2 1h 42m 2
Preston (fast) 2h 25m 0 2h 13m 0 2h 11m 0 2h 06m 0
Preston 3h 01m 5 2h 35m 5 2h 32m 5 2h 26m 5
Carlisle (fast) 3h 41m 2 3h 20m 1 3h 12m 1 3h 07m 1
Carlisle 4h 04m 8 3h 48m 8 3h 39m 8 3h 34m 8
Glasgow (fast) 5h 06m 3 4h 35m 2 4h 25m 2 4h 18m 2
Glasgow/Edinburgh 5h 35m 10 5h 05m 10 4h 53m 10 4h 48m 10
Holyhead 4h 28m 9 3h 50m 7 3h 50m 7 3h 48m 7
*Projected date for achievement of the ﬁnal elements of the upgrade outputs.
n/a: Not applicable – No equivalent time at present (fast) – Limited stop service
3.2.6 In addition to the total of 53 nine-car tilting Pendolino trains being built by Alstom to
run West Coast Trains’ services, Bombardier has built four four-car tilting Voyager trains
for the express services to North Wales.
3.2.7 The SRA asked consultees to consider whether the 1997 franchise commitment for three
to ﬁve services each day to serve Edinburgh, instead of Glasgow, was still appropriate. The
inclusion of Edinburgh in the West Coast set of destinations would give new direct links
from the South Midlands to Edinburgh and would give choice of operator for the
important London – Edinburgh market. On the other hand, whenever a West Coast
service to Edinburgh operates, a gap would appear in the pattern of Glasgow services.
3.2.8 The consensus from consultation is that the majority of West Coast Trains Euston services
should serve Glasgow and that several of these Glasgow services should have faster journey
times with limited stops. The need to give Edinburgh some new services to and from the
WCML was however drawn to the attention of the SRA by certain consultees. This could
consist of some Edinburgh services targeted at the peak times of demand and serving the
intermediate markets, possibly routed via the West Midlands. They would provide direct
journey opportunities, much needed support to Cross Country trains and ease the impact
of some of the busier Euston – Glasgow trains not calling at many of the intermediate
stations – thereby facilitating acceleration to Glasgow (ultimately to around 4hr 15
minutes) without loss of frequency at the intermediate stations.
3.2.9 It is therefore intended to provide for a mix of fast and limited stop Glasgow services and
two or three Edinburgh services per day.
3.3 Cross Country Services
3.3.1 Timetabling of Cross Country services is a crucial element in the allocation of capacity on
the WCML. Experience of the Cross Country services introduced on 30 September 2002
has led to a reappraisal of the best way to deploy the new fast trains provided by this
major upgrade. Cross Country services using the WCML will gain signiﬁcant journey
time reductions by deploying units that can beneﬁt from the application of tilt.
3.3.2 Recent Cross Country timetable changes have been aimed at ensuring that trains are
deployed where they can be used to best advantage – focusing on longer distances and
the heaviest ﬂows – taking into account the availability of services provided by alternative
operators. Further changes included in the May 2003 timetable will take this process
3.3.3 It has become clear that there is a requirement to segregate some key ﬂows in a more cost-
effective manner, while signiﬁcantly improving interval pattern frequencies and reliability.
The hourly Voyager services from Birmingham to Liverpool and Preston referred to in the
draft Strategy, which together gave a half hourly service from Birmingham to Crewe, will
now use new high quality and high performance InterCity electric multiple unit trains
from 2005. This will permit Cross Country’s West Midlands to Scotland services to
operate fast between the West Midlands and Preston, thus prioritising capacity for the
longer distance ﬂows.
3.3.4 In addition these electric trains, coupled with the use of the new high quality trains
deployed on Mondays to Fridays for the London commuter market (section 3.5) could be
deployed to provide some longer distance capacity for peak weekend and seasonal
demand. These trains, supporting both West Coast and Cross Country trains as necessary
will enable the Cross Country diesel ﬂeet to be more effectively deployed across the Cross
Country network at such times.
3.3.5 A regular half hourly Cross Country Birmingham – Manchester service is being
implemented from September 2003, giving a much better pattern of service. This
combined with more regular services to Liverpool (see appendix B2.3) and Preston is in
accordance with the aspirations discussed in the MidMan Multi-Modal Study, giving
better connections and faster services and enhanced rolling stock between the West
Midlands and North West parallel to the M6.
3.3.6 The Cross Country services to Scotland via the West Coast currently operate once per
two hours via Manchester and once per two hours via Crewe. These generally call at most
of the intermediate stations. Alternate Manchester and Crewe routed trains serve Glasgow
3.3.7 This pattern has not been particularly successful: some speciﬁc trains have been
overcrowded. Short term remedial action has been taken by removal of some intermediate
stops and certain trains have been strengthened to eight coaches using non-tilting trains.
3.3.8 This Strategy supports the provision of capacity for a different, more targeted service of
ﬁve car tilting trains. The retention of a strict four hour repeating interval pattern north
of Preston on these trains is not considered to be as important as frequency enhancements
and journey time improvements.
3.3.9 The detail of the Cross Country services to Scotland is currently being developed. The
main acceleration north of Crewe will take place in 2005. The following key principles
will be used for the route north of Crewe:
a) To the maximum extent practicable within the available train resources, Birmingham
to Scotland direct trains should operate hourly, normally alternating between Glasgow
b) Generally, these trains will be on a limited stop basis, with intermediate calls covered
by the new Preston – Birmingham services (see section 3.3.3).
c) The Glasgow trains may be accelerated still further giving a Birmingham – Glasgow
journey time some 45 minutes less than today.
d) Some Birmingham to Scotland trains may use available Pendolino trains when they are
not fully committed on the London services. For example, this can release diesel trains
for summer Saturday use elsewhere in the Cross Country network.
e) The current services from Birmingham to Scotland via Manchester should be more
speciﬁcally targeted at the Manchester to Scotland market, and more local and
regional links, as they will not remain attractive for longer distance trafﬁc, given the
much faster services on the direct route. A more resilient service pattern may be
possible by the separation of the Manchester to Scotland service from the Birmingham
– Manchester links.
f ) The interaction between Cross Country and West Coast north of Crewe and Preston
is very important, both for customers at the intermediate stations, such as Oxenholme
and Penrith and for the robust delivery of freight capacity.
3.4 Trunk freight
3.4.1 At present 43% of all freight conveyed by rail in Great Britain uses the WCML for some
or all of its journey, making it the prime UK trunk route for freight trafﬁc. Freight paths
will be generally provided throughout the West Coast route on a standard hour basis to
replace the existing paths that have largely developed in an ‘as required’ and somewhat
unstructured fashion. This change is intended to optimise the use of capacity on the route,
and to ensure that there will be sufﬁcient paths available to move existing trafﬁcs as well as
providing signiﬁcant capability for growth. The predicted growth in trafﬁc levels has been
taken into account in assessing capacity requirements and in predicting consequent
maintenance and renewal requirements. However this is an iterative process and work
continues in this area.
3.4.2 Standard hour freight path patterns have been divided into peak, off peak, evening and
night hours. There is a greater number of freight paths in the evening (1900-2200) period
than during the off peak (1000-1600) period. The SRA believes this creates an optimal
balance between passenger and freight customer needs. Some adjustments to access
agreements will be required to enable these changes to take place. Peak hour freight paths
are limited in number. An indicative summary of medium term (2007-8) freight paths in
each period that are anticipated to be available on each section of route is contained in
Appendix C. Paths have not been allocated to speciﬁc freight operating companies,
although the physical characteristics of each path (traction type, length, speed, etc) reﬂect
existing freight requirements and equipment.
3.4.3 Solutions have been developed to most of the freight issues which arose from initial
indicative timetables and work is still in hand on this matter, reﬂecting the capacity which
is being validated as part of the 2004-5 timetable process.
3.4.4 On the route south of Crewe, the capacity for growth equates to an increase of up to
60-70% growth in freight capacity in available freight paths over those currently available.
3.4.5 This growth in freight capacity broadly matches the terms of the original Regulatory
Undertakings associated with PUG 2, which required an additional 42 slow line paths to
be provided between Wembley and Crewe. The Strategy has a good spread of freight
paths across the 24-hour period, and ensures that existing key daytime trunk freight ﬂows
are protected, with some signiﬁcant headroom for growth.
3.4.6 A further feature of this Strategy is that growth has also been catered for north of Crewe
and on routes to Manchester and Liverpool. The solution to the daytime capacity issues
north of Crewe will include a combination of increased traction capability and better
‘ﬂighting’ of the fast passenger services. Different hour by hour service patterns and train
loads for passenger and freight may not enable a standard ‘clockface’ hourly timetable to be
fully implemented to the north of Crewe or Preston. The detail of these service patterns is
currently being developed to accommodate the changes in passenger and freight trafﬁc.
3.4.7 High-speed freight services, including mail and logistics, with capacity for future growth,
are catered for by the inclusion of an alternate-hour Anglo-Scottish path. In order to be
accommodated amongst the fast West Coast and Cross Country trains, rolling stock
would be required with the capability to operate with similar speed characteristics to the
tilting high speed passenger trains.
3.4.8 The WCML Strategy will provide capacity for a signiﬁcant number of freight trains to
operate. The way in which this capacity will be split between differing types of service will
be determined by the normal industry processes governing acquisition of access rights.
3.5 London commuter services
3.5.1 The approach adopted in the draft Strategy has been broadly endorsed through the
processes of consultation. The original principles remain valid – outputs to meet capacity
and service requirements can be achieved on the upgraded slow lines.
3.5.2 The key elements of the Strategy are to:
a) Supplement the current Class 321 trains used by Silverlink in 2004-5 by a ﬂeet of
higher performance trains so as to reduce the difference between the faster and slower
train service performance at times of peak line utilisation.
b) Adjust stopping patterns so as to limit the overall speed difference between the fastest
and slowest train paths.
c) Extend platforms so that trains of up to 240m in length (12 x 20m vehicles) can call
at intermediate stations between London and Northampton when using the slow lines.
d) Increase the ‘slow’ line maximum speed from 90mile/h to 100mile/h between London
e) Provide additional infrastructure at Tring (centre turnback platform facility) and a
centre turnback siding at Wolverton.
f ) The operation of two morning peak and some off peak Pendolino fast services from
Northampton to London, giving faster journey times.
3.5.3 The detail of the 2004 timetable speciﬁcation is given in Appendix B2.2.
3.6 Cross London
3.6.1 The draft Strategy referred to capacity being provided for the retention of the one train
per hour from Gatwick Airport and/or South London to Watford Junction, for onward
3.6.2 Respondees expressed a wish for a half-hourly link to Clapham Junction, but more
particularly beyond. A study of available capacity for a half-hourly link would need to be
part of further timetable work on the West London Lines to investigate viability, service
robustness and value for money. Similarly, a wish was expressed for these services to be
extended north of Watford, particularly to Milton Keynes. Line capacity may be available
for this extension, but any such extensions would need to be demonstrated to be value for
money and not to affect service resilience.
3.7 West Midlands
3.7.1 Capacity will be available for a half-hourly ‘all stations’ service from Birmingham New
Street to Birmingham International and a second half-hourly service of trains running fast
from Birmingham New Street to Birmingham International, then all stations forward to
Coventry with extensions to Rugby and Northampton. This is conﬁrmed in this ﬁnal
Strategy, and avoids earlier concerns of delays while local trains would be ‘overtaken’ at
3.7.2 The revision to the proposals for Rugby (Appendix A, section 8.13) is, in the medium
term, intended to provide capacity for a half-hourly Birmingham – Northampton service
and eliminate any requirement for trains to terminate regularly at Coventry.
3.7.3 There was understanding within the consultation exercise of the need to balance
requirements of local and long distance markets and review the interaction of services on
key corridors. However this requires prioritisation of service delivery over protection of
through journeys for a small minority of customers. In accordance with the broad
strategic thrust the ultimate service pattern will be determined by the need for efﬁcient
use of network capacity and the resilient delivery of output performance.
3.7.4 The issue of the market position to be enjoyed on the WCML by West Coast Trains’
services from the West Midlands to London after the Silverlink through service is
removed generated mixed views. However consultation focused equally on the need for
service robustness and reducing interactions and complexity, so that the offered product
could be more reliably delivered. It has therefore been decided to divide the Silverlink
service into two overlapping sections (Birmingham – Northampton and Rugby –
London) in order to secure good performance.
3.7.5 Extensive work has been undertaken with train operators to optimise other regional
services in the West Midlands to achieve a robust timetable pattern.
3.7.6 The resignalling work between Banbury and Leamington (A23) will enable a regular
half-hourly Chiltern line Birmingham – London service, which will both materially assist
diversionary route capacity and provide an alternative to the Euston service.
3.8 Trent Valley
3.8.1 Local services from Nuneaton to Stafford will be required to ﬁt available ‘slots’ between
the long distance passenger services and the trunk freight trains. Higher performance
electric trains may need to replace slower diesel trains dependent on the extent to which
the long distance passenger and freight trafﬁc builds up to reduce capacity available for
3.8.2 The four tracking of the Trent Valley route and the diversion of nearly all services
between London and Manchester to operate via Stoke, diverging at Colwich Junction,
is planned to ease the position in relation to the Walsall – Rugeley – Stafford services.
3.8.3 There may be some opportunity after the remodelling of Rugby for limited through
working from the Trent Valley in conjunction with the Rugby to London (via
Northampton) service using available resources.
3.8.4 As requested by the Secretary of State in his decision on the MidMan multi-modal
study, the SRA is examining the case for enhancements of local services in the Trent
Valley and assessing in detail the timetable and capacity implications of enhancements
of such services.
3.8.5 A Stafford to Stoke local service will also be accommodated with timings being dependent
on timetable capacity and resource availability.
3.9 North Wales
3.9.1 From Winter 2004 it is intended that there will be changes to the London – Holyhead
service, which is currently operated three times per day. This will take account of the need
to provide adequate capacity for existing and potential new trafﬁc, the availability of new
rolling stock and the requirement to ensure a reliable service – including provision for
maintenance of the rolling stock.
3.9.2 Detailed examination of the original (1997-8) proposal for up to seven four-coach tilting
Voyager services to operate between London and North Wales at approximately two
hourly intervals demonstrated speciﬁc problems:
a) The service could not be provided by the four train sets ordered.
b) Some workings were planned at very marginal off peak times of demand.
c) Inadequate capacity would be available at peak times of both business and leisure
d) Train capacity constraints precluded the trains from contributing to the overall West
Coast capacity between London and Crewe, effectively taking a full service peak path,
but with only a very short train, thus wasting overall route capacity.
e) The four-car tilting diesels planned for North Wales are currently being deployed to
good effect within the busy Cross Country network.
3.9.3 The optimum solution to these issues within line and resource capacity constraints has not
been easy. The timetable is now being structured around a mix of full length nine-car
Pendolino electric trains at peak times and tilting diesel trains at other times. If practicable
ﬁve-coach tilting diesel trains will be deployed instead of four-coach trains. Overall,
capacity to Chester and North Wales will be slightly greater than the original seven train
plan, but this will be targeted in a more effective way, with ﬁve weekday trains.
The Pendolino trains to North Wales will be diesel hauled on the line between
Holyhead and Crewe in the same way as will happen on other routes at weekends (see
3.9.4 The relative merits of alternative routings of the Wales & Borders services from
Birmingham to North Wales have been considered. It might be possible to continue
the current routing via Crewe, for some trains at least, but this would probably require a
time penalty caused by the need to use the slower tracks between Stafford and Crewe.
Alternatively, the services could be routed via Shrewsbury to tap new markets and provide
valued links with mid-Wales and the Borders. This latter route appears to have a better
overall business case and detailed work is continuing in conjunction with the 2004-5
3.10 North Staffordshire
The operation of two West Coast and two Cross Country services per hour between Stone
and Cheadle Hulme will constrain the capacity available for other services. It is planned to
improve the pattern of services by some of Cross Country Trains’ services calling at
Congleton. The hourly day-long and half-hourly peak Macclesﬁeld – Manchester local
service will also operate on the corridor. Provision will be made for the Stafford – Stoke
local services and for the existing links between the East Midlands and Crewe via Stoke.
3.11 Manchester area
3.11.1 The impact of the increased frequency of West Coast and Cross Country trains on the
availability of capacity for regional, local and PTE services is being assessed in detail.
Discussions are progressing with the Greater Manchester PTE and other interested bodies
in respect of all aspects of local rail services including the servicing of the important links
to Manchester International Airport.
3.11.2 Stockport area resignalling (see Appendix A, section A18), is signiﬁcantly delayed from its
original 2002 implementation, primarily due to system acceptance issues, and Network
Rail is working hard to achieve the majority of this work for September 2004. The more
regular pattern of longer distance services to Manchester now foreseen will facilitate the
operational mix between the longer distance services and the local and regional trains.
A revised local service pattern with the same frequencies but different linkages is currently
3.12 Liverpool area
3.12.1 Capacity for local and regional services into and out of Liverpool Lime St should be
unaffected by the proposed long distance services. The Liverpool – Wigan local service
will beneﬁt from being separated from WCML trunk services at Wigan by the
reinstatement of a parallel route into Wigan station. This separation by the installation of
a short piece of new track is likely to be delivered by 2005.
3.12.2 Consultation responses have included a request for better services at a proposed Liverpool
South Parkway previous known as Allerton Interchange – a key PTE development. This
may be practicable for local and regional trains, dependent on demand projections,
timetabling and funding.
3.12.3 A review is to take place on the value for money case for the retention of the direct chord
at Halton Junction towards Chester – this is only available for trafﬁc in one direction and
sees minimal usage. The junction would need full re-signalling and renewal as part of the
Crewe North – Ditton scheme, (see Appendix A, section A22) if it were to be retained.
3.13 Preston and Lancashire
3.13.1 Many of the regional and local services operating through Preston run largely on tracks
separated from those used by WCML trunk trafﬁc. Restoring the original double-track
layout – provisionally scheduled for 2005 delivery – will increase the capacity of the most
signiﬁcant point of conﬂict, Euxton Junction.
3.13.2 In addition, within Preston station itself, appraisal of a proposal for an additional
passenger platform, by converting a through goods loop platform for passenger operation,
is currently under way.
3.13.3 North of Preston, the pattern of Manchester – Barrow/Windermere and of Leeds –
Morecambe services will be reviewed further when the longer distance Anglo-Scottish
services have been planned.
3.13.4 A review is to take place of the value for money case for the retention of the direct line
from Carnforth to Morecambe, given the renewals required. This line sees minimal usage.
3.14 Scottish services
3.14.1 The improvements to long distance services are expected to have no signiﬁcant impact on
the capacity required for the present pattern of regional and PTE services.
3.14.2 Capacity will be available for the existing King’s Cross – Edinburgh – Glasgow services
and for the overnight Anglo-Scottish sleeping car services to/from London. However,
these sleeper services are effectively the only trafﬁc operating on the West Coast route on
a Sunday night/Monday morning – otherwise an invaluable opportunity for maintenance
and renewals to be carried out. It is therefore proposed to implement a series of cyclic
diversions of these trains on Sunday nights/Monday mornings, with some earlier
departures and extension of journey times (because of the trains taking one of three
possible diversions off the WCML). This should enable weekday night-time maintenance
to be reduced and better overnight capacity to be achieved at times when the demand is
3.14.3 Maintenance and renewal opportunities on the route between Carlisle and Glasgow and
Edinburgh are extremely limited because of heavy overnight trafﬁc. Therefore essential
maintenance is undertaken later into the morning hours than elsewhere on the network.
It has become clear that the aspiration, emerging during consultation, for new services
that give earlier northbound arrivals in Glasgow and Edinburgh may be difﬁcult to meet
until full bi-directional signalling has been introduced with resignalling in eight to ten
years’ time. The issue will however continue to be explored.
3.14.4 Initially, although the track and signalling infrastructure will have been put in place,
available train resources may not permit utilisation of the full hourly line capacity for
London – Scotland services.
3.14.5 The service frequency to Glasgow will, however, be greater than that originally planned
under the upgrade and in the SRA’s draft Strategy. It is planned, as several consultees
requested, to run some Glasgow trains with more limited stops at busy times, with some
Edinburgh – London Euston trains servicing the intermediate stations.
3.15 International passenger services
3.15.1 This Strategy recognises that the operation of today’s ‘Regional Eurostar’ trains on the
WCML has never been fully compatible with the operation of higher speed, tilting West
Coast Trains’ services. The Eurostar trains would be limited to 110 mile/h, and their
occasional operation without the enhanced speed available to tilting trains on curves
would mean a wasteful erosion of line capacity.
3.15.2 Furthermore, Eurostar has indicated that at the present time there is no business case for
the introduction of direct regional Eurostar services on the WCML. Operation of direct
links to mainland Europe are not ruled out for the longer term. There may also be scope
for improved interchange between domestic and international services. The SRA has a
duty to formulate and keep under review a strategy relating to services in various parts of
Great Britain for facilitating the carriage of passenger and goods through the Channel
Tunnel. The SRA expects to launch a wide-ranging consultation on this strategy in Spring
2004. A more modern generation of high speed tilting train has been developed since the
Regional Eurostar ﬂeet was designed. Indeed, the new Pendolino trains are partly a
derivative of these newer generation trains.
3.15.3 Options therefore exist for through international trains to operate in future over the
WCML with a newer tilting train design. The operation and routing of such services will
be considered further, between now and the full opening of the second phase of the high
speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL 2) in 2007, which is the earliest practicable date
for them to start. Such consideration will take into account the overall passenger market –
in particular the impact of ‘low cost’ airline links between regional centres and places on
3.16.1 One of the principal requirements of the route modernisation is to achieve a satisfactory
level of train running performance. An assessment is currently taking place to consider
the most appropriate measure. It is currently envisaged that this should be deﬁned as 90%
of all West Coast Trains’ services to arrive within ten minutes of advertised time, without
exclusion. The 90% target would require all train operators to work together and
contribute to its achievement.
3.16.2 While similar to the ‘85% within ﬁve minutes’ (broadly equivalent to ‘90% within ten
minutes’) which was originally agreed as part of the PUG 2 contract (later assessed by
Railtrack as being undeliverable), this performance level is more demanding than the
current Passenger’s Charter target. The latter allows problems due to external causes to be
excluded and has a separate measure for the number of cancellations. Moreover, the route
will be operated with a much higher frequency of trains. Given the level of renewal
proposed on the route and the objective of restoring the route to a long term sustainable
condition, this is considered to be an appropriate provisional target.
3.16.3 It will not be possible to deliver this target immediately in September 2004 as there will
still be renewals and enhancement works taking place on the route. Interim targets have
therefore also been considered and are currently proposed to be as follows:
87% from Autumn 2004 and 2005;
These are similar to those in the draft Strategy, but now reﬂect the expected dates of
infrastructure implementation and the new December timetable change dates.
3.16.4 Work continues to be undertaken to assess quantitatively the deliverability of the above
targets against the train service characteristics, the infrastructure build and the
assumptions made for delays caused by both infrastructure and trains. This work cannot
be ﬁnalised until the timetable detail has been developed – this latter is expected to be
completed for the 2004 daytime timetable by June 2003 and for the post 2007 timetable
by the end of 2003.
3.16.5 However, the work undertaken on performance since the publication of the draft Strategy,
coupled with consultation responses, has demonstrated the clear need to continue with
improvement in the following key components of performance, some of which were
explained in the draft Strategy:
(i) The timetable structure will include many of the medium and short distance regional
and inter-regional passenger services being operated in shorter, resilient sections, rather
than interlinking of trains along many busy corridors. For example, it might be
possible to continue to link the London – Rugby trains through to Birmingham or
Coventry – Birmingham local trains through to Wolverhampton. However when the
performance effect of linking trains through busy corridors or nodes is assessed, the
interdependencies make recovery from service disruption difﬁcult and, indeed can
multiply delay to an unacceptable extent. The implementation of this process has
already commenced, with the separation of a dedicated hourly fast Birmingham to
Liverpool limited stop ‘shuttle’ from some under performing very long distance services
from September 2003. While some marginal through links are lost, the importance of
train performance for the key ﬂows is recognised and has been given higher priority.
(ii) Train ‘turnround’ allowances have been carefully considered and signiﬁcant changes
made, particularly by the extension of the time allowed for local trains to form
subsequent workings. This will then, within the current overall train regulation policy,
allow the longer distance passenger and freight services to be prioritised, thus
minimising the effect of any delays caused by these trains at later stages of their
journey. Some speciﬁc local train regulation policies will need to be revisited,
reﬂecting the fact that they were originally framed to meet the requirements of
interlinked and short turnaround services. The SRA will, through the franchise
process, inﬂuence these service speciﬁcations and where appropriate, bear the
additional resource cost where unit cost on the local services had taken priority over
the critical issue of delivery and performance of the long distance trains.
(iii) The components being used in the replacement of outdated and life expired
equipment are to be speciﬁed to very high standards of reliability. Similarly, the new
trains for the route are planned to be substantially more reliable in trafﬁc than the
(iv) Careful attention is being given to the overall structure and components of the
timetable, such as the pattern of intermediate stops, and performance and engineering
allowances, to improve deliverability.
(v) Lineside fencing and other security measures are being under taken to reduce the
effects of trespass and vandalism on train performance.
(vi) Station dwell times have been reassessed by comparison with the earlier basis
assumed for the Pendolino trains. While this has caused some journeys to be
marginally longer than previous expectations, it is felt to be more important to have
a sound base for good performance.
(vii) Despite the best planning and improvements to the reliability of trains and
infrastructure, there will inevitably be times when there is some disruption and there
will continue on occasions to be a need to operate under less than optimum
conditions. Before the implementation of the upgraded services in Autumn 2004,
there will be a need to completely reassess contingency plans in the light of the
change in route outputs. In particular, there will be a need to prioritise for overall
capacity for longer distance passenger, mail and freight services, rather than for their
speed. In similar fashion there is a need to prioritise overall seating capacity for
commuter services rather than meeting every local requirement in exactly the same
way as normally planned in the timetable. Some of the choices may well be difﬁcult.
For example, if the four track section between Milton Keynes and London is
required to operate on two instead of four tracks, the two tracks remaining will need
to operate in a manner which maximises throughput, with as near as possible to a
common speed proﬁle, rather like a ‘pipeline’. It will in these situations be necessary
to achieve this common speed proﬁle by omitting some station calls in the slower
services over the route section and by accepting a longer journey time for the fastest
trains over the affected section. Typically, this will require all trains to average some
60 – 70 mile/h and to take maximum advantage of the new high speed junctions to
3.16.6 Train performance is not an ‘optional extra’ and to ensure that the above principles are
consistently respected, there will be a need to ensure that appropriate incentives and
arrangements are implemented within Franchise Agreements, Track Access Agreements,
other contracts and by local implementation plans.
3.17 Stations and freight terminals
3.17.1 Given the emphasis placed on encouraging ‘modal shift’ it is crucial that wherever
possible, stations are attractive gateways to the railway network. For these ‘gateways’ to
function effectively they need adequate car parking facilities with good interchange with
buses and other modes of public transport. In addition signage, ease of access and waiting
areas where service information is readily available need to be provided. Opportunities
exist at such points as Watford and Wigan North Western for possible improved
interchange facilities. The new station at Rugby will show the attractiveness of modern
design and what can be done to improve customer facilities and access.
3.17.2 Consultation exposed the desire on the part of many respondents for new stations.
Discussions with promoters will be taken forward where there may be realistic chances of
establishing a case for appraisal. Such proposals must have at worst a neutral effect on
network capacity and performance. The developers would be expected to meet capital and
revenue costs to the extent that a stand alone business case cannot be demonstrated.
3.17.3 The growth in rail freight, which is forecast on the WCML after the upgraded track
capacity is provided, will be handled through growth in trafﬁc at existing and by some
new rail freight facilities. In view of the high use of capacity projected for the route on
project completion, in particular north of Crewe, it is essential that new terminals are able
to assist, through their siting and design, towards the most efﬁcient utilisation of the
WCML, and of connections with the rest of the rail network. It is for the promoter of
any new terminal or interchange to satisfy himself that his detailed needs can be met from
within the route capacity available.
3.17.4 A particular region where new interchanges are proposed to meet anticipated demand is
North West England. The SRA is aware of a number of projects within this region. The
SRA view is that the most efﬁcient use of the WCML, and of the rest of the network in
the area, would be made by those projects located within the Liverpool-Warrington-
Manchester commercial belt to the south of the NW Region. These would in addition
offer the most attractive locations in a rail-based logistics supply chain.
3.18 Weekend services
3.18.1 Long distance services on the WCML have been affected by major engineering work at
weekends for many years and customer conﬁdence in the service is not as high as on some
3.18.2 This is a most important growth opportunity and a very careful balance will need to be
struck between the needs of the customer and the needs of renewal and maintenance to
ensure the vital infrastructure asset is sustained.
3.18.3 Much is being done within this Strategy to enable better weekend services to be delivered.
a) New track and signalling designed with maintenance and renewal requirements
reﬂected in the build.
b) Improvements to parallel diversionary routes enabling service frequencies to be
sustained and journey time extensions to be reduced.
c) Use of modern, lower maintenance and longer life components.
d) Bi-directional signalling.
3.18.4 The WCML, south of Crewe and Manchester can be thought of as a series of parallel
double track routes with either four tracks or alternative routes with good functionality.
This full network is required on Mondays to Fridays to carry the total volume and mix of
trafﬁc. At weekends, it is possible to give efﬁcient maintenance and renewal opportunities
and to maintain service frequencies and much of the weekday acceleration planned in this
Strategy by using one of the routes and enabling work to take place on the other.
3.18.5 As an example, the route from Rugby to Stafford via the West Midlands will be considerably
faster than today, with much 125 mile/h running and a timetable structure which allows
four fast trains an hour to operate via Rugby and Coventry. This can therefore be used
during works on the Trent Valley line which are planned from 2005 onwards.
3.18.6 There may be some cases where major works will dictate some alterations to journeys, but
it will be critical that these are carefully planned and that the train services are delivered
to that plan. It will still be necessary on occasion for West Coast Trains services to be
diverted onto non-electriﬁed routes such as Nuneaton to Birmingham and Manchester to
Preston. A speciﬁcally modiﬁed and modernised ﬂeet of locomotives is being provided
with the capability to achieve this with minimised effect on overall journey times. These
locomotives will also be used to support contingency support at key locations and for the
Pendolino workings on the Crewe to North Wales line, referred in section 3.9 above.
4. Business Case for the West Coast route upgrade
4.1 The appraisal
The majority of the West Coast works relate to renewals of life expired assets. The
purpose of the appraisal is to evaluate the costs and beneﬁts of the enhancements in the
Strategy to ensure that they represent value for money. In the appraisal, renewals are
treated as unavoidable and form the base against which the case for the enhancements is
The more signiﬁcant elements of the enhancement work are shown in the table in
The appraisal seeks to quantify all future costs and beneﬁts as a result of the
enhancements over 30 years of operation. In terms of costs this includes the cost of
building the enhancements, the increase in infrastructure maintenance and renewals
and changes to train operators’ costs to run additional and improved passenger and
The appraisal quantiﬁes the net beneﬁts of outputs delivered by the enhancements
compared to the outputs delivered by only doing the renewals works. These beneﬁts
include faster journey times and greater frequencies for passenger and freight services.
It is anticipated that the improvement in passenger journey times and higher frequencies
will attract a greater number of passengers to use the WCML services including
passengers transferring from the road network over and above expected background
demand growth. It is estimated that the service improvements will lead to between
15-25% more passenger journeys between London and the major urban centres of
Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
It is expected that around 60% of these additional passenger journeys will be transfers
from road to rail. This will result in a less congested road network, which will beneﬁt the
remaining road users. These de-congestion beneﬁts have been included in the appraisal
including the reduction in road accidents associated with lower levels of trafﬁc.
The additional freight paths created will provide additional capacity for a variety of
commodities to be carried on the WCML that otherwise would be carried on major
trunk roads such as the M1 and M6. It is estimated that up to 5,000 lorries per day will
be removed from the road network as a consequence of the additional freight capacity
created by the Strategy.
There are also signiﬁcant performance beneﬁts in terms of improved reliability and the
associated reduction in delays to passengers. In practice, it is difﬁcult to distinguish the
contribution of the renewals and the enhancement elements to these beneﬁts. A cautious
approach has therefore been taken, and none of the performance beneﬁts have been
attributed to the enhancements – i.e. they do not appear in the beneﬁt/cost appraisal.
There will also be punctuality and journey time beneﬁts for freight trafﬁc that will enjoy
the expected improvements in the infrastructure’s capacity, line speed and reliability.
However these are also not quantiﬁed in the appraisal.
It should be noted that the beneﬁt of the works which are planned for the Trent Valley
(four tracking and junction modernisation) is partially a capacity uplift, but of greater
importance is a very signiﬁcant contribution to providing improved performance over
what would otherwise remain a bottleneck on the route.
4.3 Value for money
The business case has been tested for robustness against a range of sensitivities and the
beneﬁt to cost ratio for the proposed enhancements is 2.4:1. Over half of the beneﬁts
relate to passenger beneﬁts; the beneﬁts to other road users of transferring freight to rail
accounts for approximately a third of the beneﬁts and the reduction in crowding levels on
passenger services for over ten per cent.
Road User Benefits
Benefits + Revenues – Costs
-6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 10
£ billions 2002 prices
The cost estimates used in the appraisal are based on Network Rail’s projections for the
project as published in their Business Plan earlier this year. These have been adjusted for
known programme changes since the Business Plan was published. For appraisal purposes
these costs have been increased in accordance with HM Treasury Green Book guidance on
4.6 Appraisal summary
The Department for Transport requires that the SRA (in common with other transport
appraisals) assesses the impact of its proposals against ﬁve key criteria. Set out below is
an Appraisal Summary Table that indicates the impact of the Strategy against each of
Criteria Strategy Impact
Environmental Impact Overall impact is positive. Reductions in CO2 emissions
as a result of modal shift of passenger and freight trafﬁc
from road to rail.
Some adverse impact from higher frequency trains over
Safety Improved train safety through the deployment of train
protection systems reducing the possibility of signals
passed at danger.
Modal shift of passenger and freight from road to rail
brings a net reduction in accidents, as rail is safer
New line side fencing and removal of level crossings will
reduce accident levels, to trespassers, pedestrians, road
users and rail passengers.
Revised possession strategy (including blockades)
reducing risk to construction/trackside workforce.
Economy Passenger journey time savings and reduced crowding
due to increased line speed and capacity.
Improved capacity allows for future freight growth,
removing lorries from the road network.
Modernised infrastructure and rolling stock will reduce
equipment failure thus improving reliability and
The ratio of beneﬁts to costs of 2.4:1.
Accessibility Reduced journey time and increased frequency will
New rolling stock to be introduced as part of the
Strategy will be fully compliant with the Disability
Integration Modernisation of a key national route will provide
stimulus to economic growth and competition,
accessibility to education, jobs and greater social
The modernisation will contribute to land use policy and
integration by encouraging development consistent with
sustainable development principles, including the
regeneration of major urban centres, for example, Rugby.
5.1.1 The unavoidable renewals on the route form a huge project in their own right. This work
is the equivalent of totally rebuilding the formation of the track, sleepers, rail, overhead
line equipment and the signalling. New, more durable and reliable equipment is being
installed to ensure that the route is ready for future trafﬁc demands.
5.1.2 The scale of renewals to be achieved is planned to be as follows:
Renewals elements Scale of renewal works within Project
Track works 780 miles of track (out of a total of 1,660)
Overhead line 585 miles
Cess path 340 miles
Switch and Crossing 1,120 point out of a total of 2,900
Bridges 30 spans to be renewed
5.1.3 In order to establish the most appropriate level of renewals to undertake before 2006 so
that the route can be brought up to a sustainable condition, the current condition of the
assets must be known, particularly track, foundations and drainage, overhead line
equipment (OLE) and signalling. The options for life extension – and for future trafﬁc
patterns and changes to operating parameters – particularly train speed and tonnages,
have all had to be taken into account. A signiﬁcant amount of detailed work is required
in a relatively short time to ensure that the level and mix of work offers the best long
term value and reﬂects the availability of resources which can be deployed over the period.
5.1.4 This work is being done by Network Rail in conjunction with the SRA and ORR. There
may be options to change trafﬁc patterns and operating parameters for some sections of
route. In addition there is scope to reconsider the position in relation to future planning
of work possessions, as has already been done with speciﬁc longer possessions planned for
2003-4. Under these, it will be practicable to deliver a high volume of work at much
better productivity levels.
5.1.5 The SRA as project sponsor and funder, and ORR with its responsibility for securing the
efﬁcient stewardship of the network by Network Rail, share the objective of ensuring
delivery by Network Rail of the right renewals programme in an efﬁcient way. Therefore,
Network Rail, the ORR and the SRA have been reviewing:
– whether the proposed renewals speciﬁcation is the most efﬁcient way of sustaining the
network to deliver the outputs;
– the efﬁciency of the proposed method of delivery of the renewals speciﬁcation; and
– what are the most appropriate outputs from the route after the renewals, to what future
functionality should the renewals be targeted, or indeed, can a life-expired asset be
dispensed with altogether?
5.1.6 This work will inform the future treatment of the WCML in the Regulator’s Interim
review of track access charges and in his ongoing monitoring of delivery.
5.1.7 The ORR has a duty to consider the efﬁciency of Network Rail’s long term asset
stewardship. In the context of the WCML, this is particularly important, given the scale
of works being undertaken and the choices that have to be made in relation to the
speciﬁcations for renewal work. For example, the installation under this Project of
marginally more expensive renewals with longer life materials and the inclusion of more
drainage and formation works will bring long term efﬁciency reducing future
maintenance costs and bring less disruption to customers in future.
5.1.8 As contemplated in the draft Strategy, more renewals than had originally been envisaged
will be required on the slow lines, as they will carry heavy freight tonnages. Similarly, and
particularly where there has been the opportunity to arrange blockades, it has been
efﬁcient and appropriate to include signiﬁcantly more formation and drainage works to
avoid future location-speciﬁc track problems.
5.2 Future Programme of renewals
5.2.1 Work is currently being undertaken on the maintenance and renewal options for the
route. This includes an assessment as to whether small incremental improvements in the
functionality of the route could bring long term beneﬁts and reduce the need for future
maintenance. An example of the latter, on which a decision has already been taken, is the
electriﬁcation of the route between Crewe and Kidsgrove in order to provide a suitable
diversionary route, which will materially help project delivery, future maintenance and
5.2.2 A diversionary route strategy has been devised to ensure that proper opportunities are
given to enable the whole route to be sustained, with its higher trafﬁc volumes. On many
sections of the WCML south of Crewe and Manchester following the upgrading, there
will be the ability at night and at weekends to divert the relatively slower trafﬁc over fast
and gauge cleared diversionary routes with minimal additional journey time. This should
enable far more robust timetables and high quality delivery of weekend train services to
be delivered, in a way which is hoped will restore conﬁdence in rail travel, thus generating
signiﬁcant additional business.
5.2.3 Limited diversionary route capability will not enable similar solutions between Crewe and
Glasgow, where there is essentially only a double track railway, with heavy trafﬁc patterns.
Two key sections between Crewe and Liverpool/Preston will now be provided with bi-
directional signalling, which will assist the route south of Preston. There will, however, be a
need to balance trafﬁc needs and access for maintenance and renewal for the majority of the
route until bi-directional signalling is introduced, linked to the longer term full resignalling.
5.2.4 Post 2006 there will be a need for renewals on the route, with further assets becoming
due for renewal. Anticipated requirements include:
● Track renewals because of high volumes of passengers and freight trafﬁc and the need to
retain good travel geometry for high speed.
● The need to ensure there is an ongoing match between renewals and route outputs.
● Completion of the integrated renewals and enhancements in the Rugby and
● West Midlands re-signalling.
● Warrington to Glasgow re-signalling.
5.2.5 Some of the track components on the busiest sections of route may, depending on the
maintenance regime, need renewal every six to ten years, simply because of the intensity
6. Implementation and Delivery
6.1 Overall approach
6.1.1 This Strategy places great emphasis on delivery. The Strategy does not remove delivery
risk, but seeks to limit it wherever possible to manageable levels. The Strategy seeks to
remove leading edge technological risk wherever practicable. It is also expected that the
revised possession strategy will signiﬁcantly reduce the delays and overall disruptions from
6.1.2 Some infrastructure work has been accelerated. For example, at Nuneaton a two-track
ﬂyover and an additional two platforms will provide the essential separation between West
Coast route services and the Leicester – Birmingham services a year earlier than had
6.1.3 It is planned that, by 31 March 2006, almost all the renewals and enhancement work
under the WCRM Project will be completed. From this date, any renewals required will
be handled using Network Rail’s normal management processes.
6.2 Possession strategy
6.2.1 The volume of works on this project is such that special possession arrangements are
required. During the project reviews, it was found that a high proportion of the work had
been completed on the outer tracks of four-track sections, and on the double line sections
with parallel routes, but rather less on the centre two lines of the four-track sections.
Consequently, and following wide ranging industry discussion, a series of total or full
possessions has been developed for those sections of route that have satisfactory
diversionary facilities available. This enables work to proceed at greater efﬁciency by
enabling it to proceed without interruption, and permits alternative working methods to
be employed that do not have to allow for work on a live railway.
6.2.2. The draft SRA WCML Strategy envisaged a changed approach to the delivery of the
work, accelerating the outputs and making the work more cost efﬁcient through the use
of carefully targeted blockades. These were able to be more extensive when clear
alternative routes were available. Where those options were not available, short total
closures of a route section were targeted around holiday periods.
6.2.3 Generally, this approach has been very much welcomed in the consultation response;
recognising the need to bring the project under better programme and cost control and to
secure earlier delivery of the outputs has been recognised.
6.2.4 Extensive consultation has taken place for the ﬁrst of the major blockades, that of the
Colwich – Stoke – Cheadle Hulme route in the May to September 2003 period. Many
helpful links have been forged with local authorities, user groups and communities to
improve the plan for customers affected by the work and to improve communication.
This practical response has been welcomed by train operators and the SRA. and will be
replicated for the works later in the programme.
6.2.5 The speciﬁc major blockades for 2003 and early 2004 which were detailed in the draft
Strategy are unchanged. Further detail has subsequently been developed in conjunction
with Network Rail and train operators, and the scope of planned work for summer 2004
is now clear. Formal consultation is currently taking place with train operators about these
plans and the diversionary arrangements.
6.2.6 The effectiveness of this approach has proven to be very high: the output efﬁciency has
been very substantially improved and the long term outputs secured. For example, within
the original cost estimates for the work on the Colwich – Stoke – Cheadle Hulme line, it
has been possible to include a tenfold increase in the track foundation work and a
doubling of elements of the trackwork, advancing future renewals in a cost effective way.
The efﬁciency of this new approach will be separately assessed as a case study as lessons
may be able to be learnt for the rest of the network for route sections where parallel
alternative routes exist.
6.2.7 The majority of these works relate to the work necessary to achieve the 2004 outputs. It is
the intention to complete this phase of construction by July 2004 so that time is available
for driver training and familiarisation, prior to the timetable introduction in late
September. Other aspects of the work will be advanced into the pre-September 2004
period, in order to minimise disruption to customers after the enhanced outputs of the
route are realised. These works can be completed slightly later and are planned over the
whole of the summer of 2004, up to the end of August.
6.2.8 After September 2004, there will be far more limited possession opportunities, especially
on Mondays to Fridays, when the enhanced numbers of long distance passenger services
will share the network with freight and other passenger trains. Works will therefore be
conﬁned to more conventional weekend engineering possessions. It is expected that there
will be, for example, more weekend and Bank Holiday diversions via the West Midlands in
2005 and 2006 than in a typical year, thus enabling weekend possessions for the delivery
of the major project works at Nuneaton and in the Trent Valley. Such diversions should,
however, be seen in the new context of 125 mile/h running from Rugby to Birmingham,
higher speeds from there to Wolverhampton, and then 125 mile/h on to Stafford.
6.2.9 Some sections of the route have obvious parallel/diversionary routes over which end-to-
end journey times could be sustained at acceptable levels. The work proposed during each
of the full possessions includes the arrears of renewals and preparation of the railway for
future trafﬁc levels, including speed and capacity enhancements. After the sections are
reopened, the fully enhanced outputs should be delivered and the need for future
possessions signiﬁcantly reduced.
6.2.10 There are other sections of route where there are no direct alternatives. Here, the strategy
is to concentrate as much work as practicable into periods close to public holidays when
route usage tends to be lighter and therefore fewer passengers and freight customers are
affected. This is a contrast from the earlier delivery arrangements, where work has
disrupted the route for a signiﬁcant number of consecutive weekends. Overall, the
number of days of closure has been more than halved compared to the previous
arrangements for similar work.
6.2.11 In terms of the implementation sequence, the ﬁrst priority for Network Rail and Bechtel,
as programme manager, is to deliver a speciﬁc package of enhancement and renewals
work by the end of July 2004, which enables the enhanced route outputs to be
satisfactorily delivered from Autumn 2004.
6.2.12 It is also very important to carry out as much of the renewals and upgrading work in
advance of Autumn 2004 which, by its nature, would otherwise disrupt the smooth
operation of the network thereafter. For example, it is essential to undertake many of the
enabling stages of the major scheme at Rugby and the key elements of the remodelling at
Stockport during the summer of 2004.
6.2.13 More detailed information about the engineering work is given in Appendix D and a map
of speciﬁc infrastructure schemes is shown in Appendix A, section A8.
6.3 Alternative service strategy
6.3.1 When such closures are under way, alternative rail services are available for most
passengers. In a few cases, for intermediate destinations, bespoke road links will be
provided giving both direct fast links and local connections. For longer distance journeys,
advantage will be taken of the availability of other rail routes to and from London where
journey times reasonably comparable with that to and from Euston can be achieved,
rather than using road transport shuttles between stations either side of an engineering
site. In this way passengers are offered a through rail journey, or at the very least one with
fewer interchange requirements.
6.3.2 In summary, it must be stressed that with very few exceptions, the WCML will remain
open for business. There will always be direct trains from London to Birmingham,
Manchester and Glasgow. Fuller details of the proposed arrangements for the services
during project implementation are given in Appendix D.
Manchester – St Pancras service
6.3.3 A new train service, at an hourly frequency, will operate between Manchester and
St Pancras, with schedules only slightly slower than those currently offered on the Euston
route. This will be operated from May 2003 until September 2004, and will augment the
hourly Manchester – Euston service. For some weekends and during the several speciﬁc
blocks for major works, such as that at Bourne End and at Longsight (Manchester) in
August 2003, and those for the route south of Rugby in summer 2004, the diverted
service will effectively replace the current Euston trains. In addition the diverted services
will provide good links to the rest of the North West, through interchange at Manchester.
6.3.4 The new services will be integrated within the existing structure of the Midland Mainline
timetable and they will generally substitute for one of the slower stopping services that
currently operate between London, Leicester and Nottingham. The same connectional
pattern that currently exists at Leicester to and from Nottingham will be retained.
Additional capacity will be provided by increased use of High Speed Trains and using the
released Turbostar trains to strengthen other services. The two Manchester services will
operate as complementary ones; Euston and St Pancras are relatively close together and
both services will use Manchester Piccadilly. At weekends and during major engineering
works, the St Pancras route will be faster than the Euston alternative.
6.3.5 Similarly, arrangements are being planned by Chiltern Railways to enhance their capacity
between the West Midlands and London at times of extensive work on the Birmingham
to Euston route.
6.3.6 Since the publication of the draft SRA Strategy, Network Rail has clariﬁed the need for
further major works in 2004 to secure the improved outputs in Autumn 2004. It has also
conﬁrmed the cost efﬁciencies from blockades. This has further enhanced the value of
these alternative services and capacity over and above that originally envisaged when the
draft Strategy was published.
6.3.7 The possession strategy means that disruptive work on the route from Birmingham to
Euston will be signiﬁcantly reduced from that previously envisaged. When the route is
closed in August 2003 for nine days, including two weekends, at Easter 2004 for ﬁve days
and in summer 2004 for other works, there will be strengthened service and/or extra
capacity on the alternative routes to Marylebone.
Liverpool, North Wales and the North West
6.3.8 The prime period when there is an effect on these routes is in early 2004, when works are
planned on the route section between Stafford and Crewe. The provision of the newly
electriﬁed diversionary route via Stoke signiﬁcantly reduces the effect of this work to a
relatively small increase in overall journey time (10–15 minutes) for the period. When the
line is closed for essential works South of Rugby, the St Pancras – Manchester service will
provide a rail link to other parts of the North West, using the frequent connections
available at Manchester.
6.3.9 Alternative services exist from London to Glasgow; in addition to the West Coast Trains
and ScotRail sleeper Euston services, GNER operates from King’s Cross via Edinburgh.
An enhanced frequency from King’s Cross to Glasgow, particularly at weekends, has
recently been introduced and will be retained during the period of works on the West
6.3.10 In order to make much more effective use of the Sunday night work opportunities on the
West Coast route, when trafﬁc is light, an examination is under way of re-routing the
Sunday night Scottish sleeping car services to enable sections of the WCML to be closed
for renewal work.
7. Next steps on the West Coast Route Modernisation Project
7.1 Work has continued in evaluating the scope of the WCRM Project, from a location-
speciﬁc and from a functional perspective. A revised speciﬁcation for the work is being
ﬁnalised, with the SRA as client and sponsor, for implementation by Network Rail.
7.2 A high proportion of total expenditure and activity is devoted to the renewal of the track
and electrical equipment, together with the rebuilding of the formation of the railway.
The Strategy for this renewal work has been developed further since the draft was ﬁrst
published. Costs are being controlled and methods of delivery have been further reﬁned.
7.3 Where possible and sensible, consideration is being given to renewals planned for beyond
2006 to be advanced in order to take advantage of already arranged closure periods prior
to this date; to minimise future disruption. Bringing together ‘renewal’ work with
planned ‘upgrade’ possessions is therefore being pursued.
7.4 Nevertheless, such combination must take account of the business case. Additional
capacity will be provided for both passenger and freight growth. However, as some of this
may not be needed in the early years, it would not make good sense to completely renew
all assets at this early stage.
7.5 The publication of the West Coast draft Strategy on 9 October 2002 was a key step in
moving forward this long overdue project. Since then, a number of major activities have
been undertaken to prepare for the forthcoming engineering work.
7.6 Public consultation on the draft Strategy began immediately after its publication. This
exercise was very comprehensive and many comments and constructive suggestions have
been assessed and incorporated into this ﬁnal strategy (see section 1.2 and Appendix E).
7.7 In parallel with consultation, on 19 November 2002, a new functional speciﬁcation
document, based on the SRA’s draft Strategy was published. Since then, the project cost
and programme baseline process has been undertaken by Network Rail in conjunction
with Bechtel, its Programme Manager, to deliver conﬁrmation on cost and schedule. The
result of this process has been very encouraging and the Strategy has now become a
focused and deliverable plan of action. This plan now demonstrates clarity on the
renewals and enhancement elements of the works, and links each speciﬁc scheme to a
tangible output for the route. Furthermore, much effort has been devoted to streamline
the actual work packets, to ensure that this project is delivered in the most efﬁcient and
cost effective way.
7.8 The ﬁnal Strategy is now based upon a plan to deliver a route infrastructure lasting 20-30
years and that caters for growth in future trafﬁc patterns and growing customer demands.
7.9 Major effort has also been ongoing to secure and plan work into the possessions to be
carried out in between 2003 and 2006.
7.10 In addition a dedicated Communications Steering Group has been established including
the SRA, Network Rail and the Train and Freight Operating Companies. Their objective
is to work together as one body, so as to ensure that all customers are aware of future
engineering works and that information is made available to them regarding alternative
routes and where appropriate road replacement services. The ﬁrst of these announcements
has already been made with regard to the works planned in Summer 2003. More
communications in the local press and radio will follow, with newsletters available for
customers, to supplement the announcements. This team will be working together for
the duration of the project, ensuring that any disruption to journeys caused by the works
is minimised by having the appropriate information made available to all customers using
7.11 The SRA has developed the ﬁnal Strategy by continuing to focus on the prioritisation of
trafﬁcs and the interaction between available capacity, train characteristics, infrastructure
build and performance. The long term view has helped deﬁne the speciﬁc outputs for the
entire route. Work is ongoing with train and freight operators to ensure the key drivers in
all decisions taken are value for money and delivery of adequate long term capacity.
7.12 Going forward, the focus is now on the actual implementation of a plan that has been
put together and endorsed by the whole rail industry. The new mechanisms and
speciﬁcations envisaged in the draft SRA Strategy are now in place and many items of
engineering work are due to start on time and to schedule.
Implementation of SRA Strategy and Responsibilities
7.13 There are many facets to this SRA WCML Strategy. It both describes the objectives of the
route and the broad mechanisms to achieve those objectives. This section explains in
summary what arrangements will need to be actioned by many of the parties within the
rail industry in order to deliver the planned outcomes for the route.
7.14 The SRA will deﬁne new franchise agreements, or renegotiate existing franchise
agreements as appropriate, so that these reﬂect the overall updated 2003 Strategic Plan
and this WCML Strategy.
7.15 In order to give effect to this Strategy, there is a need for new and amended track access
agreements, including the Virgin PUG-2 agreement, to be negotiated by train operators
and Network Rail. These track access agreements will be submitted to the Rail Regulator
for approval. The Regulator will also be reviewing the undertakings given at the time
7.16 The Rail Regulator will have regard to the need to facilitate the furtherance by the SRA of
this Strategy alongside his other public interest duties.
7.17 The new outputs of the route, while enhanced in overall terms, will need to be checked
against the current Passenger Service Requirements (PSRs). Appropriate consultation will
take place to ensure consistency between the future PSRs and the new outputs for
customers and operators providing the services.
7.18 Revised Project Governance arrangements are in place and being formalised, with a
Project Board, with highest level participation from Network Rail and the SRA and the
presence of the Rail Regulator in an observer role. At the working level, there is now an
active Project Delivery Group, with membership from the three organisations and this is
charged with the Project speciﬁcation, cost and programme control.
7.19 The SRA is the client and sponsor of the Project. Speciﬁcally, the responsibility for the
condition management of an asset is the responsibility of Network Rail; the Rail
Regulator is responsible for ensuring that renewals are efﬁcient; and the SRA has the
responsibility for determining the functionality of the railway – including enhancements
or simpliﬁcation schemes and the outputs from renewal. In terms of the project, Network
Rail is fully responsible for its delivery, within agreed cost parameters and to the agreed
7.20 A large amount of work is required to introduce the new high speed tilting trains on the
WCML and to ensure that appropriate traction is provided in accordance with this
Strategy. This work is necessary at a number of levels, from contract and procurement,
through to such issues as route clearance, tilt control and driver training, etc. The train
acceptance issues are more fully described in section 2.15.
7.21 Other new trains will be required to sustain the route’s outputs and carrying capacity.
Arrangements are in place to procure four-car 100 mile/h high performance electric
multiple units, primarily for the following services:
● London – Northampton.
● Birmingham – Northampton / Preston / Liverpool.
7.22 The industry is working together to develop resilient timetables for the route,
concentrating initially on the timetable for 2004 to 2007. A dedicated Network Rail
timetabling team is working with operator representatives to develop an initial ‘standard
hour’ pattern. The next step is to develop a ‘core’ Mondays to Fridays 0600-2000
timetable by June 2003, covering the West Coast and associated routes, such as those in
the West Midlands and North West. Then, to September 2003, it is envisaged that the
timetable for the remaining hours and days of the week will be completed, reﬂecting the
needs of maintenance, renewal and upgrading up to 2007 as assessed by Network Rail.
The next stage will be to conﬁrm the validity of this timetable, the speciﬁcations and
resource availability at a special conference in October 2003, so that this completed West
Coast timetable can be progressed through in the normal timetable process, through to
publication for Autumn 2004 operation.
7.23 Certain aspects of the build functionality will be ﬁnalised within the next few months.
Earlier systematic reviews have taken place covering the whole route, but certain aspects
have necessarily changed. In particular, delays to the resignalling scheme at Stafford,
which will now not be possible before Autumn 2004, have triggered a full review of what
will be provided. Accordingly, feasibility work is now in hand for the Rugeley, Colwich,
Stafford, and Norton Bridge areas to understand what is the best long term value for
money option for the whole area, including the interaction between this route and the
upgraded Stoke line. The objective is to achieve improved trafﬁc segregation and speeds
yet give a lower long term cost of ownership. Initial indications are that signiﬁcant
improvements both in functionality and whole life cost will be possible.
7.24 Following this ﬁnalisation of the outputs available from the network on project
completion, work will take place on the longer term timetable options. These will beneﬁt
from the completion of line speed enhancements, better segregation of trafﬁcs,
completion of the renewals to achieve a sustainable railway and the removal of the
additional allowances necessary during the completion of the ﬁnal works. Typical
accelerations are envisaged to be of the order of ﬁve minutes to the West Midlands, the
North West, North Wales and Scotland for West Coast Trains’ services. Similarly, the
capacity for freight expansion will be realised, as will the traction power enhancements to
permit enhanced frequencies and train weights.
7.25 In parallel with these activities, Network Rail will need to develop a long term
maintenance and renewal plan, to ensure that the route can be kept at a high level of asset
condition, consistent with the higher utilisation planned.
7.26 Certain speciﬁc renewals of signalling will need to be assessed, prioritised and have
scheme plans developed. In the medium term these will affect much of the West
Midlands, Crewe area and the whole of the Warrington to Motherwell section of the West
Coast route. As with this WCRM Project, the opportunity will be taken to achieve cost
effective enhancements at the same time as renewals. In particular, better functionality is
likely to be necessary between Warrington and Motherwell, with better loop capability
and bi-directional signalling. Some of the enabling works for those elements are now
included within the renewals of this scheme, to minimise the risk of abortive costs in the
light of these future strategic requirements for the route (see Appendix A, section A.22). It
is recognised that some speciﬁc West Midlands capacity bottlenecks need to be improved.
8. Lessons Learnt
There has been great cross industry involvement and interest in the WCRM Project. The
industry has participated well in the review, which has led to the Project having a new
direction, as set out in this Strategy. The industry and stakeholders have also participated
in a ‘lessons learnt’ review so that the best and worst aspects of this historic Project can
help the industry to go forward. The review process over the last 12 months has also
pioneered certain aspects relating to methods of working and has brought its own lessons.
These are covered in this section.
8.2 Summary of lessons for the future from the WCRM Project 1997 – 2002
8.2.1 A Project’s objective needs to be set in a clear, all industry and stakeholders context.
8.2.2 The scope of a Project needs to be carefully controlled with a clear Sponsor.
8.2.3 An accurate assessment of the renewals can only be achieved with a clarity of knowledge
about the asset condition and clear projections of future use.
8.2.4 Project Programmes need to be realistic and accurately baselined, with costs and
8.2.5 Project interdependencies need to be fully assessed on an overall ‘system’ basis
(e.g. adequate power for enhanced outputs).
8.2.6 Projects on a working railway must include the means of delivery as a critical element of
the conﬁrmation process of a design speciﬁcation.
8.2.7 Clear Programme and Contractor management arrangements are essential in large
projects. Outputs require to be clearly deﬁned and managed against costs and programme
in a rigorous manner.
8.3 Summary of lessons for the future from the 2002-3 SRA-led all industry review of
the WCRM Project
8.3.1 A cross-industry open approach to a Project can yield many beneﬁts. In particular, train
operators have a clear view on current and future customer needs and what ﬂexibility is
practicable during a Project’s construction phase.
8.3.2 Stakeholders, if actively involved, can make a very positive contribution to the efﬁciency
and improved outputs from a Project.
8.3.3 There is a great deal of operational and engineering expertise in the rail industry which
can be tapped to enable a better and clearer speciﬁcation, reduced costs, more robust
design and more effective implementation.
8.3.4 Roles and responsibilities need to be clariﬁed at an early stage of a Project.
8.3.5 A total ‘system’ approach can give an optimised cost and programme.
8.3.6 With an adequate level of diversionary capability, including both rail and high quality
road transport, a ‘short, sharp’ approach to assist vital engineering work can optimise the
delivery of improved outputs and cost and programme efﬁciency.
8.3.7 In addition to current Project horizons, a longer term strategic view of future
requirements can reduce the risk of current speciﬁcations being abortive at the next stage
of a route’s development.
8.3.8 A longer term view of maintenance and renewal needs is essential, together with a clear
mechanism and programme for delivery.
8.3.9 Capacity and performance can frequently be improved by traction and timetable
solutions, without resorting to expensive disruptive and time consuming infrastructure
8.3.10 Where infrastructure enhancement or renewal works are still required, civil engineering
work for trafﬁc segregation should be considered to reduce long term costs and improve
performance and capacity by comparison with complex resignalling. Such civil
engineering work can be more deliverable and cost effective than the equivalent
expenditure on signalling work.
8.4 Many lessons have been learnt from the WCRM Project and steps are being taken to
transfer these to other Projects.
Appendix A: Detailed infrastructure requirements
A1. Summary of the Key Requirements of the SRA for the West Coast route
(see location map on page 23)
Location Enhancement elements additional to
the ‘do-minimum’ renewals
Whole Route Speed improvement with a maximum 125 mile/h fast
line speed and 100 mile/h slow line speed
Whole Route Installation of TPWS and TPWS+ to provide increased
Whole Route Strengthened power supplies
Bourne End Higher speed (60 mile/h) crossovers at Bourne End
Tring New central turnback loop
Ledburn Junction Speed increase to 60 mile/h
Bletchley Simpliﬁcation and higher speed (60 mile/h) crossovers
Euston – Northampton 12-car platforms at all suburban stations
Rugby Simpliﬁed track layout, higher speed lines, new station,
reduced maintenance and renewed ﬂyover
Birmingham International Re-modelled track layout for a better turnback facility
Birmingham New Street Two new bay platforms
Wolverhampton New through Birmingham-bound platform
Nuneaton and the Leicester Line New track layout and segregation of key ﬂows
Trent Valley More extensive four-tracking Rugby – Colwich
Colwich – Stoke – Cheadle Hulme Speed enhancements and increased gauge for
Stockport Resignalled and modernised network with
enhanced capacity and ﬂexibility
Colwich – Stafford – Crewe Electriﬁcation of diversionary route from
Crewe to Kidsgrove
Speed and capacity improvements at Colwich,
Stafford and Norton Bridge
Crewe – Weaver Junction – Preston Segregation of tracks at Wigan
Double-track junction at Euxton Junction, to the south
of Preston, where the Manchester line diverges
Crewe – Weaver Junction – Liverpool Higher line speeds with some new
bi-directional signalling from Crewe to Ditton
Preston – Carlisle – Glasgow Higher line speed (125 mile/h)
A2. Background to the proposals
This Appendix lists the key elements of work speciﬁed by the SRA. It details the key
works along the route covering ﬁrstly common characteristics and then, working
systematically from south to north, describing the works and the main performance
improvements they are designed to achieve.
A3. Route renewal
A3.1 The line speed will be upgraded as far as is practicable to a maximum 125 mile/h for
tilting passenger and other suitably designed non-passenger trains along the whole of the
route. A tilting mechanism is necessary to allow trains to run at such speeds since there
are many places where passenger trains cannot comfortably use existing curves or planned
re-alignments after upgrading work at higher speed without having tilt technology.
A3.2 It was originally proposed to relocate the signals required to deliver 125 mile/h by 2002
and then re-signal by 2005, incorporating ‘moving block’ signalling. As the earlier works
have already been delayed considerably and moving block technology has been
abandoned, it was practicable to reconsider the scope of some of the works. Where
appropriate, one-off full re-signalling can be undertaken or, where the signalling has
elements of modern technology within an older signalbox or is not in need of immediate
renewal, it has been possible to defer works.
A4. Power supplies
A4.1 To enable the route to deliver the required train service outputs, it is proposed to change
the power-to-weight ratio of many freight and commuter services on the route. This will
avoid the very signiﬁcant costs and delays of having to build additional track, such as
passing loops, to enable faster trains to pass slower ones. This change will inevitably
increase the power supply requirements, and in certain cases require new rolling stock,
but will signiﬁcantly reduce overall project cost and deliver improved journey times for
A4.2 More robust electrical power supplies will be required and it is proposed to reinstate the
scope of works along much of the route back to the original proposal which had been
cancelled by Railtrack, namely a ‘2 x 25kV’ supply system using auto transformers. This
switch to the auto transformer system can be achieved with minimum disruption to train
services and will provide greater capacity for growth.
A5. Train detection system
A5.1 The UK Railway has been considering the replacement of track circuits with axle counters
for a number of years and these are already in use across parts of the network. They count
the number of axles entering and leaving a section of track, conﬁrming that the train is
fully clear before allowing another train to use the relevant section of track.
A5.2 Part of the WCRM Project included a signiﬁcant element of axle counter deployment
where new re-signalling was included. This element has been conﬁrmed as the most
appropriate for train detection.
A6. Train radio and communications strategy
A6.1 To support the deployment of counters, and to achieve renewal in a modern equivalent
form, a new digital train radio system, GSM-R, is being ﬁtted along the route, replacing
the voice elements of the existing National Radio Network (NRN) system which is nearing
the end of its technological and practical life. NRN must also be replaced because of plans
to reallocate, for non-railway purposes, the radio frequency band on which it is based.
A6.2 The base stations are in the course of installation, giving an excellent level of coverage,
and will link to hand portable radio sets, which will be used by traincrew as the additional
communication link to support axle counters, as described in the previous section.
A6.3 It is proposed to continue the ﬁtment of the GSM-R base stations and infrastructure on
the route, with the functionality to handle both voice and ERTMS data (see below). In
the immediate term, the hand portable radios required for train communication in an
emergency will use this infrastructure.
A7. Train control strategy
A7.1 The WCML upgrade was originally conceived and contracted on the basis of ‘moving
block, in-cab signalling’ technology, based on ERTMS Level 3. This was a bold but, with
hindsight, an over-optimistic step, assuming the deployment of technology which had not
been developed at that time to speciﬁc timescales to deliver much improved track capacity.
A7.2 The route south of Crewe was also intended to be operated at 140 mile/h, taking
advantage of the cab signalling which the system would provide.
A7.3 It soon became apparent that commitment to moving block was undeliverable within the
timescales required and a decision was made by Railtrack to change the control system to
a lesser (Level 2) application of ERTMS, which was being contemplated as the Europe-
wide train control system of the future. This could potentially provide the cab signalling
for 140 mile/h running, whilst retaining the option of conventional lineside signalling for
the majority of the trains on the route, which would not be ﬁtted with ERTMS
equipment. At the time of the original Railtrack decision to proceed with Level 2, the
West Coast project took on the task of developing the system, as well as committing to its
implementation at Level 2 south of Crewe and at Level 1 north of Crewe through a
‘partnering agreement’. The key difference between Level 1 and Level 2 ERTMS is that
Level 1 uses balises (trackside transmitters) to communicate with receivers mounted on
trains to provide signalling control information from existing lineside signals whilst Level
2 uses ‘mobile phone’ technology to provide enhanced control functionality from a ‘radio
block centre’ to trains ﬁtted for ERTMS operation. Variants of this Level 2 approach
could see retention of lineside signals for trains not so ﬁtted.
A7.4 In addition Railtrack took the decision to reduce the planned line speed south of Crewe to
125 mile/h, primarily because the costs of achieving 140 mile/h were prohibitive in view of
the step change in standards and safety requirements for speeds in excess of 125 mile/h.
A7.5 Concurrent with the West Coast development of ERTMS, a national programme was
established – under the joint leadership of Railway Safety and the SRA with cross
industry representation and support, including observers on the Programme Board from
the Ofﬁce of the Rail Regulator and from the HSE. This work has considered carefully
the appropriateness of different levels of ERTMS taking into account capacity effects, the
business case and the safety improvement generated. A report from this body describing
their ﬁndings to date was published in April 2002.
A7.6 A core recommendation within this report was that the best approach was from
implementation of route re-signalling, incorporating Level 2 ERTMS, together with
removal of much of the lineside equipment and signalling. This type of ERTMS provides
line capacity and performance beneﬁts by enabling trains to run safely at shorter
headways, in addition reducing signalling design constraints.
A7.7 In the report Level 1 ERTMS was also found to have the potential to increase the risk to
track workers. This is because it requires installation and maintenance of new trackside
equipment (balises) in addition to existing signalling equipment. It was also found to
reduce route capacity.
A7.8 This April 2002 report has been independently assessed by the HSE and their ﬁndings
presented to the HSC. The HSC subsequently recommended, and the Secretary of State
for Transport accepted, that ERTMS could not be delivered in the timescales which had
been anticipated and that the SRA should take the lead in developing a single national
programme for ERTMS.
A7.9 The October 2002 draft SRA West Coast Strategy explained how the options for the train
control strategy on the route were being considered.
A7.10 Since the draft Strategy was published, it has become clearer that the deployment of
ERTMS on this complex and important route could not be before 2007-8 and that there
were still risks and uncertainties with the system.
A7.11 Some consultees of the draft Strategy and some external media coverage of it considered
that a uniﬁed approach to ERTMS would be appropriate, but, in proportion to the total
number of responses, Train Control Strategy was apparently not seen as a major issue.
A7.12 The HSE review of the April 2002 ERTMS report conﬁrmed that ERTMS Level 1
would reduce network capacity. ERTMS Level 2 was considered to be the best approach
for the UK, notwithstanding the fact that it is still at an early stage of development. Level
2 envisages the use of GSM-R radio to transmit train movement authority. GSM-R will
be introduced across the UK as a train radio voice replacement system for the National
Radio Network (NRN) and Cab Secure Radio (CSR) systems, and as a data system
capable of transmitting ERTMS data to and from trains.
A7.13 The emerging single national ERTMS programme envisages maximising the use of test
track facilities such as Old Dalby within a multi-supplier environment. This should
facilitate compatibility between different manufacturers’ systems for both track and train.
The programme also envisages an early deployment site so that the system can be proven
in the rigorous conditions of full trafﬁc operation. The key aspects for development in the
UK context include:
– incorporation of developments on mainland Europe;
– operational rules and principles;
– interfaces to existing signalling systems;
– reliability and dealing with the effects of unreliability (degraded mode operation);
– validation of performance and capacity beneﬁts; and
– standardisation of systems and approvals processes.
A7.14 In the light of the above factors, it has been agreed by the SRA and Network Rail that the
current West Coast ERTMS development be migrated into one single UK programme,
for the network as a whole. This programme will target ERTMS Level 2 with the removal
of lineside signals and adoption of cab signalling. In these circumstances it should be
noted that elimination of lineside signals can only be undertaken once all trains using a
route have been ﬁtted with ERTMS.
A7.15 Installation on the WCML route would be planned along with the implementation on
the rest of the rail network. When full Level 2 ‘no signals’ ERTMS and supporting
elements become available and fully proven and the performance, safety and capacity
beneﬁts justify the change, it will be implemented in conjunction with future
A7.16 It should be stressed that one of the key platforms for ERTMS on the route, the GSM-R
radio system, has not been withdrawn from the Project and is being undertaken in a way
which would facilitate ERTMS deployment in the future.
Interim Approaches to Train Control Strategy
A7.17 As automatic train protection through ERTMS was not achievable in the short/medium
term, a decision was taken some time ago to move towards the provision of an interim
safety system in order to achieve signiﬁcant safety improvement more rapidly. This
interim system – Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) – is designed to mitigate
the impact of drivers passing signals at danger across the whole network in advance of the
provision of ERTMS. TPWS is currently being installed at signals protecting key parts of
the infrastructure, including all conﬂicting junctions.
A7.18 TPWS provides a very signiﬁcant proportion of the safety protection of ATP, and much
sooner than ERTMS – some 65-80% of ATP-preventable risk being controlled. The
higher ﬁgure applies in particular to routes with the latest standards of signalling and
overlaps, such as the re-signalled WCML.
A7.19 Trials recently have also demonstrated that the risk for higher speed trains with modern
braking systems can be controlled further by implementation of enhanced TPWS, with
extra lineside track loops – called TPWS+. This additional beneﬁt is still to be quantiﬁed
ﬁrmly, but an initial assessment is that an additional 6-8 % of ATP-preventable risk will
be controlled, dependent on route section and trafﬁc mix.
A7.20 Network Rail is currently assessing the locations along the West Coast route where
additional train protection should be provided by ﬁtting of TPWS+ to the highest risk
junctions. This provision will reduce still further the risk of a train accident following a
signal passed at danger and substantially reduce the speed of any impact if such a collision
Network Management Centre
A7.21 The recent major review of the Project and the timetable and infrastructure work has had
a signiﬁcant impact on the performance outputs (see section 3.16). The Project
speciﬁcation includes a centralised ‘Network Management Centre’ (NMC), including the
development of new technology. Given some current delivery and technological
challenges and a changed context compared with the original business case, the NMC is
currently being reviewed.
A8. Speciﬁc infrastructure schemes
These are considered across the whole route, from south to north.
West Coast Route Location Map
Euxton Junction Weaver Junction
Holyhead Liverpool Stockport Cheadle Hulme
Llandudno Chester Macclesfield
Sandbach Crewe Kidsgrove
Stoke Colwich Junction
Birmingham New St Nuneaton
Birmingham International Rugby
Proof House Junction Wolverton
Milton Keynes Tring
Ledburn Hemel Hempstead
A8.1 London to Rugby Platform Lengths
A8.1.1 Many consultation responses expressed concern that platforms at some stations were not
to be extended to 12-car length. In order to improve the timetable options and to assist
operations when there are engineering works or service disruptions, estimates have been
obtained for the 12-car platform extensions at Bushey (slow lines only), Kings Langley,
Apsley and Long Buckby. The cost-effectiveness of these works has been assessed. The
conclusion reached is that the slow line platforms at these stations will be extended to
12-car length and that, in order to facilitate this, the southbound fast line platform at
Bushey may have to be removed; this has no major consequence as the northbound fast
line platform was removed many years ago.
A8.1.2 All the other stations between Harrow & Wealdstone and Northampton will have the fast
and slow line platforms extended, where required, to ensure that 12-car trains can call.
The achievement of all of this work at Bletchley will be delayed until after September
2004 as completion is partly linked to the re-modelling scheme there.
A8.1.3 Platform extensions at Long Buckby have been costed, but work has not been authorised,
as the site necessitates some complex engineering solutions and because the 12-car trains
will not operate beyond Northampton until the completion of the terminating facilities
for these trains at Rugby which is planned for 2007.
A8.2 Euston Station
This area was fully renewed in 2000 at an early stage of the Project, including track
renewal, OLE renewal and resignalling. The works also included a major reconﬁguration of
the lines in the throat of the station to support the increased capacity required of the route.
A8.3 Willesden Area
The re-modelling and re-signalling works in this area were completed in January 2001.
They included the upgrade of a freight dive-under to passenger standards to improve
segregation of trafﬁc in this area, improving the performance of both passenger and
A8.4 Camden – Watford
The recent assessment of the route has highlighted that less work is complete on the
centre two tracks of the four lines, which could jeopardise the delivery of the main route
outputs if not resolved. As a result, new Saturday night possession opportunities have
been identiﬁed. It is proposed that these will enable the works to improve the fast line
speed to 125 mile/h, and the slow line speed up to 100 mile/h, to be completed before
the end of 2004.
A8.5.1 An appraisal of the original proposal to replace the relatively modern signalling in the
Watford Junction area has demonstrated that this work is not value for money. Only
limited track renewals will therefore be undertaken.
A8.5.2 The more detailed timetable work has demonstrated that there is inadequate line capacity
for day-long extensions of the St Albans Abbey shuttle service to Euston, as some
consultees had requested.
A8.5.3 Many consultees have expressed a wish for the service from Clapham Junction/Gatwick to
operate as far north as Milton Keynes, instead of to Watford. Timetable work indicates
that this option should not be limited by the upgraded infrastructure, should these
extensions be viable.
A8.6 Hemel Hempstead and Bourne End
A8.6.1 The current fast to slow line connections at Hemel Hempstead are in need of renewal and
would be a constraint on future line speed, because of their position on a curve. The
connections between the fast and slow lines at Hemel Hempstead will be removed and
replaced by higher speed (60 mile/h) junctions at Bourne End.
A8.6.2 The delivery route for Bourne End had been intended to be similar to that at Ledburn
Junction, with a long period of weekend blockades. The connections at Bourne End
are now being installed in two stages: during the completed four-day total closure of the
route at Easter 2003 and during a nine-day closure including the late Summer Bank
A8.6.3 During these closures other vital work on the Hemel/Hempstead – Rugby section is being
carried out, thereby reducing overall disruption. The total number of hours when the line
will be closed has been substantially reduced compared with the 18 weekends of work
associated with replacement of the similar junction at Ledburn.
Track re-modelling at Tring will enable trains to reverse there in a platform between the
slow lines so that reversal moves do not conﬂict with through trafﬁc. This will be
constructed during a ﬁve-week period around Easter 2004, when two of the four lines
will be closed, together with a ﬁve-day period over Easter itself when all lines will be
closed to allow commissioning.
A8.8 Ledburn Junction
A new junction has now been installed, with double slow to fast and fast to slow
crossovers and a 60 mile/h speed. This junction will be commissioned in Summer 2003,
coinciding with the possessions to install the new Bourne End junction.
A8.9.1 The previously planned works at Bletchley were scheduled to be installed after the
introduction of the enhanced services in Autumn 2004. They were designed in such a
manner that serious disruption would have been required, both to install new fast to slow
line pointwork and overhead line and, more particularly, during signal commissioning.
‘All line’ blockades would have been needed.
A8.9.2 A simpler scheme has therefore been planned; with less overall disruption and a design
that will allow either the fast or the slow lines to remain open during the main works.
A new 60 mile/h double junction will replace the existing life expired junction at
Bletchley South. The Bedford line connections will be simpliﬁed and improved and a
new platform provided for the terminating local services from Bedford.
A8.10 Milton Keynes
After careful assessment, the works at Milton Keynes to provide a new fast to slow line
‘ladder junction’ and a central turnback facility between the slow lines have been
cancelled. The cost of the work and the serious disruption to train services during the
works could not have been justiﬁed. The infrastructure will therefore be retained
unchanged. A supplementary, more cost effective and less disruptive facility will be
provided at Wolverton, see overleaf.
An alternative central turnback facility to that previously proposed for Milton Keynes will
be provided to the south of Wolverton station. Improved access to the works there had
already been proposed, so that trains entering or leaving the works would not affect slow
line capacity. A minor modiﬁcation to this scheme will provide a turnback siding for
12-car empty passenger trains between the slow lines.
Works at Northampton will include a new crossover to facilitate the termination of trains
and improvements to existing sidings to provide additional 12 car-length electriﬁed
A8.13.1 The previously proposed scheme would not achieve the intended functionality in
acceptable timescales. The through line speeds had been intended to be at 100 mile/h but
signal sighting constraints would have limited this to 85 mile/h maximum, only 10 mile/h
more than today. The estimated costs of this scheme were unacceptable to the SRA, when
compared to the beneﬁts that they would provide. Simpliﬁcation of the proposed track
layout was also desirable, in order to reduce both capital and operational costs.
A8.13.2 Furthermore, the original scheme would have been very disruptive in the important
post-September 2004 period with long periods of total or partial line closures, which
were not acceptable at such a critical trafﬁc node.
A8.13.3 Joint work by the SRA, Network Rail and train operators identiﬁed that there appeared to
be a strong option for an improved scheme with better outputs.
A8.13.4 Therefore, a replacement scheme has been developed and this will simplify the network at
Rugby considerably and give much improved line speeds, whilst reducing conﬂicting
moves, capital costs and ongoing maintenance. A full 125 mile/h is achievable in both
directions on the main line, with a 125 mile/h northbound junction towards the
A8.13.5 An engineering assessment by Network Rail also highlighted the additional requirement
to replace the main ﬂyover from the Birmingham line towards London within the next
few years as its condition is deteriorating. This will enable a speed increase to 100 mile/h
for trains from the Birmingham line southbound to London.
A8.13.6 A solution was therefore developed which simpliﬁes the track layout at Rugby, while
achieving higher through speeds and greater segregation of trafﬁcs – giving better capacity
A8.13.7 This solution could not be accepted until the Network Rail team had carefully planned
a clear delivery route. Major disruption has been avoided, but the large-scale nature of
the work will mean that the Rugby area will be a capacity and journey time inhibitor
during the 2004-6 construction period. The planned delivery approach gives a through
route, alongside a station platform and with continuous access to and from all four
routes at Rugby through all stages of the work. The journey time penalty for much of
the construction period will be of the order of one to two minutes, compared with
A8.13.8 The diagram below illustrates the segregation of trafﬁc as a result of the new scheme:
Segregation of main trafﬁc ﬂows at Rugby
Rugby station Birmingham
direct Slow To Nuneaton
Fast and Stafford
London via Slow
Note that the diagram illustrates the way in which the key flows
will be segregated and does not show the full track layout.
A8.13.9 The scheme beneﬁts will include:
– a modern high quality station, with improved entrance and ‘gateway functionality’;
– full accessibility for the mobility impaired;
– full segregation of trunk and regional passenger services and through freight ﬂows;
– 125 mile/h speed to and from the Nuneaton line and towards Birmingham;
– 100 mile/h speed and a renewed ﬂyover from Birmingham towards London;
– journey time savings of between 1–2 minutes for all trains;
– high-speed connections in and out of platform lines;
– clear delivery route without major disruption;
– lower capital and disruption cost; and
– lower long term cost of ownership and maintenance.
A8.13.10 Some observers have remarked that the current station structure has only recently been
rationalised and refurbished. The beneﬁts above signiﬁcantly outweigh the effect of
continuing with the previous scheme. It is the intention to re-use some of the modular
components in the new station design.
A8.13.11 Overall the revised scheme will offer signiﬁcantly improved value for money and a route
and station more appropriate for long term trafﬁc needs.
A8.13.12 Local consultation on the scheme and station design has commenced and the general
response has been positive and supportive of the emerging proposals.
A9.1 The proposal to change the network and signalling at Coventry did not offer value for
money and the enhancement elements were not critical to the medium term
requirement of the route. The scheme has therefore been cancelled.
A9.2 A key issue is that of capacity in the Coventry – Birmingham corridor. The earlier PUG 2
timetable work had been based on four West Coast and one Cross Country 125 mile/h
services each hour together with the Silverlink Services and a half hourly Centro/Central
Trains all-stations service. This incorporated a requirement to hold these local trains at
Birmingham International in order to be overtaken. The performance risks of this
solution would be high because of the interaction between fast and slower services with
very little margin to recover from any incident or delay.
A9.3 A different solution has been found by using a short distance shuttle service between
Birmingham New Street and International and a longer distance semi-fast service from
Birmingham New Street to Coventry and Northampton, each operating every half hour.
A10 Birmingham International
The track layout will be altered to enable the local shuttle service to and from
Birmingham New Street to turn round without conﬂicting with through trains.
Additional crossover to facilitate trains
from Birmingham terminating in platform 3
A11 Birmingham New Street
A11.1 Much-needed capacity and ﬂow segregation was achieved by the successful re-modelling
of Proof House Junction on the approach to Birmingham in August 2000.
A11.2 It is proposed to provide two new bay platforms (5c and 13a) at Birmingham New Street
by cost-effective modiﬁcations to the existing station and signalling. This will assist overall
platform occupation to allow for more frequent services to London and the Birmingham
International shuttle referred to above.
A12 Wolverhampton (& Stafford – Liverpool service)
A12.1 A new through platform at Wolverhampton will be required for the enhanced West
Coast and Cross Country outputs and this is to be provided as part of the Project.
A12.2 A different timetable solution from that originally proposed in the draft Strategy has
removed the need to extend station platforms between Wolverhampton and Liverpool.
These services will now operate initially with three-car diesel and, later, with four-car
A13 Nuneaton and the Leicester line
A13.1 In order to ensure the earliest practicable delivery of the enhanced WCML capacity for
passenger and freight, an interim scheme at Nuneaton will be provided, in advance of the
September 2004 timetable.
A13.2 It is proposed to install a two-track ﬂyover connection north of Nuneaton station,
connecting to new platforms and to the Leicester line, in time for the Autumn 2004
A13.3 Because of the age and condition of the current signalling, the scheme has to be phased,
with the ﬁrst phase involving simple route disconnections.
A13.4 During the interim phase, the through connections from the north to the Leicester line
will have to be removed. The relatively few through freight and infrastructure services
trains can be diverted for this period. The Leicester and Rugby – Birmingham connections
are not affected by this interim scheme.
A13.5 Similarly, it will not be possible to operate the Coventry – Leicester – Nottingham trains
as a through service and this will operate permanently as a shuttle from Coventry to
Nuneaton only. In order to provide sufﬁcient capacity on the Leicester route, platform
extensions are planned between Birmingham and Leicester, to allow peak strengthening
A13.6 The next phase of the scheme, in 2005, will include re-modelling, re-signalling and the
reinstatement of the connections from the north to Leicester.
A13.7 The third phase, including the construction of a proposed dive-under is being reassessed.
There appears, as yet, to be insufﬁcient freight trafﬁc from the Leicester line towards
Stafford to justify full grade separation. However, this dive-under remains an option, as
does building a new connection from the ﬂyover towards Stafford.
A13.8 The different phases of the planned re-modelling of Nuneaton station are shown in Figure 6.
Present Interim 2004-5
Stafford and Stafford and
North West North West
Future grade separation for further improved freight capacity
Option 2: with new chord from the
Leicester to Birmingham line to WCML
Option 1: with dive under
from Leicester line to the
This WCRM project is making passive west side of Nuneaton station
provision for one of these options to be
added in the future
A14 Trent Valley
A14.1 Completion of the four-tracking of the Trent Valley, namely the route section between
Rugby and Brinklow and between Tamworth and Armitage was included in the original
speciﬁcation for the route upgrade. However, during the course of project development
parts were removed from the speciﬁcation.
A14.2 The SRA-led work has demonstrated the importance of this four-track section in relation
to the future required use of the route, especially for performance and for maintenance.
It is therefore now the intention to reinstate this work. This means that all the works for
renewals and upgrade will be integrated along the line and an earlier completion for the
December 2007 timetable should be practicable. Furthermore, the overall cost should be
reduced by the combination of the two stages of re-signalling and re-modelling.
A15 Wolverhampton – Stafford
The scope of the project includes responsibility for renewals and route clearance for class
390 trains on the line. Upgrading has recently been carried out as part of the Cross
Country route Modernisation Project, with line speed improvement to 125 mile/h for
diesel trains. It is proposed to continue the route clearance and acceptance work for the
class 390 trains and to adjust the overhead line equipment to allow a maximum speed of
125 mile/h for electric trains.
A16 Rugeley – Colwich – Stafford – Norton Bridge
A16.1 At the time of writing of the draft WCML Strategy, the SRA had concerns about the high
cost, value for money and appropriateness of the scope within the proposed Stafford
renewals and re-signalling scheme. However, it had been stated that the scheme was
ﬁrmly committed and on target for implementation in December 2003, with long and
disruptive possessions already in the planning process. It did not, at that time, seem to be
appropriate to change the design of a project that was believed to be on track for pre-
September 2004 completion.
A16.2 Subsequently, the original scheme programme has been demonstrated by Network Rail to
be unachievable, primarily because of signalling design and technical speciﬁcation issues.
It is also clear than none of the changes at Stafford, except for a minimal gauge clearance
requirement, are essential to the achievement of a Autumn 2004 upgraded timetable, but
work is required if this Strategy’s clear goal of achieving a long term sustainable WCML
route is to be achieved.
A16.3 The original plan was for a very expensive total renewal of the Stafford area in more
durable materials and with modern signalling, but no change to what is essentially an
excessively complex ‘steam age’ track layout. The proposed layout allowed no more than
25 or 30 mile/h through the station for the long distance passenger trains from the
125 mile/h Wolverhampton line onto the 125 mile/h line to the North. This was despite
the overall through alignment being suitable for 125 mile/h. Similarly, through freight
trafﬁc was being hampered in terms of speed and conﬂict with other services.
A16.4 These issues in the Stafford area provide an opportunity to achieve similar beneﬁts to those
obtained from the re-examination of the Rugby proposals (see A8.13). Initial indications
are that at least a 40% reduction in layout complexity between Rugeley and Norton Bridge
can permit higher speeds, reduce the long-term costs of ownership and improve line
capacity and performance. Work has therefore commenced with Network Rail and
operators to identify the most cost effective scope, consistent with deliverability without
undue disruption. The ﬁnal scheme is likely to be completed in similar timescales to those
of the Trent Valley four tracking and re-signalling. An estimate of the cost of the work in
the Stafford area is included within the Project funding plan.
A17 Colwich and Stafford (Norton Bridge) – Stoke – Cheadle Hulme
A17.1 This route is scheduled for full renewal to address the arrears of maintenance. There are
capacity constraints and conﬂicting movements for Manchester services operating through
Crewe. For this reason and to serve better the important markets of Stoke-on-Trent and
Macclesﬁeld, it is proposed that the upgraded route via Stoke-on-Trent will carry all
regular services from both London and Birmingham to Manchester.
A17.2 The extensive work on the route will be completed in a single step, with the route
becoming a continuous work site for upgrading during Summer 2003.
A17.3 Signiﬁcant works are proposed at Prestbury and Hibel Road (Macclesﬁeld) tunnels to
increase the gauge for freight trafﬁc (to W12 gauge) and to achieve clearance
improvements for tilting trains, further reducing journey times.
A17.4 While the work is in progress, it is proposed that advantage will be taken of the line’s closure
to rectify a long-standing structural problem in the undercroft of Stoke-on-Trent station.
A17.5 Advantage will be taken of the blockade opportunity and efﬁciency to improve the line
speed proﬁle still further, to rationalise the layout and to undertake renewals of track and
track substructure at a far higher lever than had been planned originally. Ongoing
maintenance costs will therefore be reduced. This route will be completed in a condition
superior to the norm for the WCRM Project with the majority of track foundation
completely renewed. The cost efﬁciency within the blockade has made this approach
particularly cost effective from a ‘whole life’ viewpoint.
A17.6 Overall, a better output, lower long-term cost of ownership, railway is being achieved for
A17.7 It is the intention for the SRA, ORR and Network Rail to carry out a detailed joint
cost/beneﬁt review of the works on this Stoke line. Lessons learnt can then be transferred
to other parts of the network where diversionary routes are available or where blockades
might be acceptable.
A18 Cheadle Hulme – Manchester Piccadilly
A18.1 The scheme at Stockport is not essential for the delivery of the enhanced London to
Manchester train service. Nevertheless, it is vital that the signalling and track, which are
both close to life expiry, are renewed in the near future. In addition, for reasons of market
credibility, it is very important that there is no major disruption to Manchester – London
services after the enhanced services commence.
A18.2 The massive scale of disruption proposed at Stockport is not primarily caused by the new
signalling technology but by the large scale of change within the planned scheme,
primarily in relation to the transposition of track use and the extensive deployment of
bi-directional signalling. This latter feature is intended to make subsequent maintenance
easier to plan and to minimise the impact of and to facilitate recovery from service
disruption. Many of these changes are not optional, particularly the need to transpose the
conﬁguration of lines for trafﬁc segregation and the need to modernise the track in line
with the latest safety standards. Other aspects of the network at Stockport are also in need
of urgent replacement – the overhead line, track, track foundations, drainage, etc, are all
overdue for renewal.
A18.3 The implementation of the re-signalling of the Stockport area has been considerably
delayed, partly because of issues relating to the design and acceptance of a new computer-
based signal interlocking which is being pioneered in the ‘Manchester South’ area of
control. This includes the line from Slade Lane – to the south of Manchester – to
Stockport, Wilmslow and Sandbach.
A18.4 This new signalling was successfully commissioned at Cheadle Hulme in March 2003
and the way has become clearer in relation to the delivery options for re-signalling of the
A18.5 It has been concluded that it will now be possible to bring into use much of the new
track and signalling in the Slade Lane and Stockport areas during the summer holidays
of 2004. This will be undertaken in several weekend periods, followed by a complete
seven-week blockade during the school holiday period, as had previously been envisaged
for the original commissioning plan. Trains will not be able to operate through Stockport
for any of the period. There will also be a requirement, for a limited period at the start of
the blockade, for the line between Manchester and Heald Green, Manchester Airport and
Crewe via Styal to be blocked while alterations are made to Slade Lane Junction itself.
The extent of this period is not yet validated, but will be kept to an absolute minimum.
Simplified diagram of first stage of Stockport re-modelling (by September 2004)
To Cheadle Hulme To Manchester
To Buxton To Guide Bridge
Simplified diagram of final stage of Stockport re-modelling (by 2005)
To Cheadle Hulme
To Buxton To Guide Bridge
A18.6 In terms of train services, when the line is open at Slade Lane, the services to London,
Birmingham, Cardiff and Crewe will be diverted via Styal and Wilmslow. The services to
Shefﬁeld, Norwich and the special through services to London St Pancras will be able to
operate, but will be diverted, not calling at Stockport. Services to Stockport itself and to
the Chester, Hazel Grove and Buxton lines will be provided using alternative road services.
A18.7 After this period of extensive engineering work in Summer 2004 is complete, the new
layout at Stockport will not be fully complete, but those parts that have been modiﬁed
will be in their ﬁnal state, thus reducing further disruption. In broad terms, the network
will comprise a modernised double track from Slade Lane to Cheadle Hulme, with four
through platforms at Stockport. The important junctions towards Buxton and Shefﬁeld
and towards Guide Bridge will also be operational.
A18.8 The western side platforms, the junction towards Altrincham and Chester and the
westernmost double track towards Manchester will not be available for trafﬁc, but will, in
turn, be modernised and brought back into full service, without disrupting the ﬂows over
the other lines. It is anticipated that the full line capacity and network will be restored in
the ﬁrst half of 2005.
A18.9 During the period from late August 2004 until the works are complete, there will be
some train service changes, particularly affecting the intermediate stations at Heaton
Chapel and Levenshulme and the removal of some current peak hour additional
workings. It is likely that most calls at the intermediate stations will require to be replaced
by road transport in order to maximise the overall throughput of the line. The exact detail
of the interim service is currently being developed and validated.
A18.10 While longer distance services can generally be diverted around the work sites, it is
appreciated that the scale of change to train services locally will be higher than for most
resignalling works. The particular complexity of the Stockport area, coupled with the
need for renewal of the total railway infrastructure which is life expired, make such
disruption inevitable if the works are to be completed within any reasonable timescale.
A18.11 When completed, the result will be a new layout, with better capacity and designed in a
manner that can be sustained, and, in the very long term, renewed in a phased manner,
without replicating the major work in 2004-5.
A19 Stafford – Crewe
A19.1 This route is scheduled for full renewal to address the arrears of maintenance. During this
work, the fast lines will be upgraded to enable trains to operate at 125 mile/h.
A19.2 Line speed improvements are limited to the 125 mile/h speed on the fast lines. The costs of
restoring the speed on the slow lines from Stafford to Crewe, from 75 mile/h to the original
90 mile/h, are being assessed so that a business case for the work can be considered.
A19.3 An important permanent and electriﬁed diversionary route for this section will be created
by the proposal to electrify the route and provide gauge enhancements for freight trafﬁc
from Kidsgrove to Crewe. This will not only assist project delivery but also longer-term
contingency and maintenance.
A20 Crewe – Kidsgrove
A20.1 This line is partly single track and partly double track and forms a potentially very
important diversionary route between Stafford and Crewe. It will be electriﬁed during the
period between May and September 2003.
A20.2 Various consultees enquired whether the single line would be simultaneously redoubled.
This will not be the case for two prime reasons: the use of the route to enable the efﬁcient
possessions between Stafford and Crewe will be unidirectional and secondly, signalling
resources were unavailable for this work.
A20.3 However, no work will be done which would inhibit this redoubling. Similarly, track
renewals on the line, which will be concentrated on the eastbound line, will be done in such
a way that future higher speed operation will not be compromised. This is because there is a
potential future different role for the line in connection with maintenance options between
Colwich and Crewe and between Kidsgrove and Cheadle Hulme; the implementation of the
future Stafford re-modelling; and the removal of some conﬂicting trafﬁc ﬂows in the
Colwich, Stafford and Norton Bridge areas – thus enabling more cost effective works.
A21 Crewe – Sandbach – Wilmslow – Cheadle Hulme
A21.1 As in the Stockport area, the asset condition on the route is very poor, with track,
overhead line and signalling falling due for renewal together. Some minor remedial works
have taken place to enable the route to carry all the trafﬁc towards Manchester while the
route vie Stoke is closed for total rebuilding.
A21.2 As part of the draft Consultation Strategy, a total closure of the line was planned from
September 2003 to January 2004 at weekends and from January to May 2004 on all days,
with road substitution, diversions and a shuttle train service between Wilmslow and
Manchester via Styal. Some renewals on this route cannot be deferred and the majority of
the track and overhead line works will be undertaken in the blockade during early 2004,
A21.3 It has proved necessary to give the re-signalling of the Stockport area priority over the
similar work on this line. The delays in the commissioning of the new technology now
preclude the achievement of the work on the Cheadle Hulme to Crewe line ahead of the
critical Stockport to Slade Lane area, as had been planned previously. The deferral of the
signalling work will provide the opportunity to shorten the blockade and re-open the line
at weekends to permit some of the enabling works for Stockport to take place, as there is
a requirement for the Wilmslow route to be open to trafﬁc, routed via Styal, whenever
Stockport is closed.
A21.4 It will therefore be necessary to stage the re-signalling of the route during late 2005, after
the completion of the Stockport scheme. This will primarily be undertaken during
weekend possessions, with longer blockades over public and Bank holidays. A total, long
term blockade will not be practicable as the alternative route, that via Stoke, does not
have the line capacity for diverted passenger and freight trains as well as the upgraded
London and Birmingham services and the local services between Manchester and
A21.5 In terms of the speciﬁcation for the route, while it will not be the prime route for the
express passenger services to Manchester, it will be a very important line, carrying freight,
long distance and local services. It is intended to simplify the track layout, compared
with today, and renew the key Sandbach junction in modern, durable, track materials for
higher speed operation. The line speed will also be improved, including the section south
of Sandbach, which has been affected by salt extraction.
A21.6 The future ruling line speed of the route is currently being assessed, with the costs and
beneﬁts of continuing with the previously planned 125 mile/h speed being identiﬁed.
Given the diversionary route option via Stoke, with its enhanced gauge, the programme,
disruption and cost effect of the retention of the planned bi-directional signalling is
A21.7 Platform extensions will be carried out at Wilmslow to cater for the Pendolino trains,
both during diversions and for the retention of some through trains to London. The
retention of such peak trains from Wilmslow to London will largely depend on the
relative journey times for the fastest of the Manchester trains, i.e. those not requiring to
call at Stoke and Macclesﬁeld on the alternative routes. This is part of the assessment of
the future line speed on this Crewe to Cheadle Hulme route.
A21.8 The scope of the re-modelling and re-signalling will include a removal of Sydney Bridge
Junction, north of Crewe, and a new high speed junction at Sandbach will become the
junction for the Crewe freight lines. Remedial work will restore the speed on the Crewe
freight lines to improve trafﬁc ﬂows.
A21.9 Gauge improvements for freight will take place on this route from Crewe to Manchester
Trafford Park via both Styal and Cheadle Hulme.
A22 Crewe – Weaver Junction – Liverpool/Glasgow
A22.1 The Weaver Junction – Glasgow and Edinburgh sections of route were modernised at a later
stage than the remainder of the route and therefore do not require the same level of full
route renewal. Signiﬁcant track and overhead line renewal and heavy maintenance works are
however necessary, but the signalling will not be due for renewal for a number of years.
A22.2 The ruling line speed will be upgraded to 125 mile/h – the limiting factor in the delivery
of this speed being the completion of renewals that may be essential for this speed to be
achieved. The estimated date for completion of all of this work is Summer 2005.
A22.3 There is a signiﬁcant section of this part of the route included within one of the current
sites for tilt testing. It is hoped that here the operation of tilt and enhanced speed will be
practicable in advance of the remainder of the route.
A22.4 Consultees have expressed concern that the scope of upgrading of the route was not more
extensive, with aspirations for inclusion of elements such as bi-directional signalling of the
double track sections, loop length extensions, higher speed crossovers and improved loop
entry and exit speeds. Such elements had already been identiﬁed within the all industry
timetable work as being highly desirable.
A22.5 Given the likely life of the signalling from Warrington to Motherwell of around eight to
ten years, such wholesale scope change would have precipitated advance renewals of the
signalling that could not be justiﬁed or resourced.
A22.6 However, a detailed examination of the scope of work on this route section demonstrated
that little account had been taken of these critical longer terms elements in the Project
work scope. This work was not planned to include changes consistent with the long term
needs, but included only renewals with identical functionality to the existing
A22.7 The following long-term outline strategy for this route has therefore been determined by
the SRA, consulting Network Rail and operators about the likely future trafﬁc and
– the standard loop length should give 775m standage;
– the standard speed for loop entry and exit will be 40 mile/h;
– the route will, when resignalled, include bi-directional signalling on all double track
sections to aid maintenance and minimise the impact of service disruption;
– the standard speed for crossovers between tracks will be 40 mile/h;
– the appropriate time for work on many of the capacity constraints will be at
re-signalling in 2010 – 2013;
– line speed enhancements are not valuable where they do not yield achievable train
– some junctions are currently located on quite sharp curves, which gives
disproportionately high complexity of the components and, more particularly high
maintenance costs. In some cases, renewal is not possible within current standards.
Simpliﬁed layouts with switch and crossing work moved to straight sections are
A22.8 This has led to the following work scope on the route:
– Simpliﬁcation of the network where assets needed renewal has been the ﬁrst
– If there is a clear long-term need for the asset, then the very durable components have
been speciﬁed for this Project, with the necessary re-modelling, but with the improved
functionality required for the long term. This applies, for example where crossovers
between track would be appropriate for bi-directional signalling or where the loop entry
or exit in a position where it would remain even in the context of future loop extension.
– If it is likely that the asset would be changed and upgraded during the future
re-signalling scheme, then a like-for-like renewal has been speciﬁed for this project. This
applies, for example at Gretna Junction where future junction re-doubling is assumed.
– On this route section, some critical capacity enhancements will now be undertaken as
part of the current project. Timetable work has demonstrated that such work is
necessary to give a double junction at Euxton, where the heavily trafﬁcked Manchester
line joins the WCML and at Wigan, where independent access is to be provided from
the Liverpool line into the station. Even within these schemes, where the existing
components are not life expired they will be retained but the design will take account of
probable future renewal with higher speed.
– While large-scale implementation of bi-directional signalling cannot be justiﬁed until
full re-signalling, there are some critical short sections that are of more immediate value
and where some track renewals are programmed. These include Crewe to Weaver
Junction and Ditton, on the Liverpool line, and Wigan station to Balshaw Lane
Junction. There are also some important signalling and track renewal needs on these
sections. There appears to be a strong value for money case for the bi-directional
signalling being included as a part of this WCRM Project and schemes are therefore
– Work scope which was highly disruptive has been simpliﬁed; as an example, a blockade
of Lancaster for 12 days had been postulated, but a simpler layout with less
functionality but higher speed and lower long-term ownership cost has been developed.
– There will be a reduced level of line speed enhancements on the immediate approaches
to Glasgow, reducing signiﬁcantly the scope of work needed.
A23 Banbury – Leamington Spa
While off the WCML itself, this is part of the prime diversionary route between London
and the West Midlands. It suffers from a very signiﬁcant capacity problem between Banbury
and Leamington Spa. In order to provide sufﬁcient diversionary capability for passenger and
freight trains – particularly during the work at Rugby and between Rugby and London – it
is proposed to advance the re-signalling of the relatively simple section of line between
Banbury (exclusive) and Leamington Spa (exclusive), with a target of completion in mid-
2004. This is advancement by around one to two years of a part of the scheme that will, in
due course, provide complete re-signalling between Leamington Spa and Oxford. The
WCRM Project will sponsor part of the costs of this scheme, given the beneﬁts that will
accrue to the implementation of this core WCRM Project, both in terms of a diversionary
route for freight and to enhance London – Birmingham Chiltern line capacity.
A24 Provision for maintenance and diversionary route capability
The possibility of reducing delays by cost-effective deployment of the tilt control system
to achieve modest speed enhancements when the more common diversionary routes are
used during routine maintenance and renewals is being studied. Examples include
Birmingham International – Bescot – Stafford and Milton Keynes – Northampton –
Rugby. As this work is of lower priority than the main works for the achievement of 125
mile/h running by Autumn 2004, further information is not yet available.
A25 Line speeds for conventional trains
A25.1 Many elements of the WCRM Project were planned to increase line speeds for all trains,
particularly through upgraded and simpliﬁed switch and crossing work. However, there
had not previously been a speciﬁcation for any of the enhancements for high-speed
operation at above 100 or 110 mile/h to be available for other than tilting trains.
A25.2 While the route is indeed restricted by curvature in many places, the SRA commissioned
Network Rail to examine further the potential for such speed enhancements to be made
available for all types of trains. Initial work has indicated that there is more potential than
had previously been assumed. Where the track geometry permits, line speeds will
therefore be raised for all types of train, with the enhanced permissible speed available
through tilt available where tilt is necessary for track geometry reasons to permit the
higher speed. This changed speciﬁcation will be of possible beneﬁt to the non-tilt Cross
Country trains, mail and high-speed logistics trains and GNER trains. Where gains can
be achieved, reducing the speed differential between trains will enhance line capacity.
Appendix B: Indicative elements of services
B1 Train Service Levels
B1.1 The need for extensive renewals of the route has provided an opportunity for cost
effective route enhancements to provide higher speed, capacity and performance. This
Strategy primarily describes the plans for the route in terms of the build, the future
capacity and the means of implementation.
B1.2 Many consultees supported this approach in the draft Strategy, but requested more detailed
information about train service patterns in the period from September 2004. This
Appendix to the Strategy explains the work being undertaken in this area to deliver the
overall objectives of the Strategy within current resources and market requirements. Train
service speciﬁcations have been developed and detailed timetable work is in progress.
B1.3 Completion of the full upgrading works will allow more services to be introduced and
journey times further improved using the full infrastructure capability that this Strategy
delivers in line with the development of demand. Different timetable structures may be
appropriate in those longer timescales. The provision of additional trains will be
dependent on a clear value for money case for either the operation of extra train mileages
or the procurement of extra trains for the route.
B2 Timetable Speciﬁcation 2004-7
The operators’ timetable speciﬁcation for the period from implementation of the ﬁrst
phase of the route upgrade in September 2004 until December 2007 are summarised in
this Appendix. These speciﬁcations have permitted Network Rail's September 2004
timetable planning process to start early, so that by the time the national timetable
conference is held in June 2003, the broad feasibility of operating services which meet
these speciﬁcations will already have been established. A further, West Coast speciﬁc,
timetable conference is planned for October 2003, reconﬁrming the timetables, the rolling
stock resources available and the plan for full delivery of the planned line speed proﬁles.
This feasibility, train operators’ bids, and later evolution to meet market requirements,
will all give rise to ﬁnalised timetables for 2004-7 which may differ in some respects from
the summary given below. But the SRA’s Strategy is to meet the speciﬁcations as far as
possible, and to resolve any issues of conﬂict between the needs of different markets
through the cross-industry working group, in which all principal operators on the route,
and Network Rail, play key parts.
The speciﬁcations are summarised by market sector and operator or geographical area.
Only services that operate on the WCML are included. Many which use it for only a
short distance are not mentioned: they are speciﬁed to continue at unaltered frequencies.
In each entry ‘tph’ means trains per hour in each direction; ‘1tph’means trains at
60 minute intervals; ‘2tph’ means two trains at intervals as close as possible to 30
minutes at least at one end of their journey; and so on for 3tph and 4tph.
It is the intention that this level of service be reﬂected in both Franchise Agreements and
Track Access Agreements for the above period. Further changes will be possible when the
full line speeds and capacity are realised.
B2.1 Long Distance Passenger Services
B2.1.1 West Coast Trains
The off-peak standard pattern of service is speciﬁed as:
2tph, one calling at Watford Junction and the other at Milton Keynes, then both calling
at Coventry, Birmingham International and Birmingham New Street, the second
continuing to Sandwell & Dudley and Wolverhampton
2tph, one fast calling at Stoke-on-Trent, Stockport and Manchester Piccadilly, the other
calling at Watford Junction or Milton Keynes in alternate hours, Stoke-on-Trent,
Macclesﬁeld, Stockport and Manchester Piccadilly
1tph, calling at Watford Junction or Milton Keynes in alternate hours, Nuneaton,
Stafford, Crewe, Runcorn and Liverpool Lime St
1tph, calling at Watford Junction or Milton Keynes in alternate hours, Rugby, Crewe,
Warrington, Wigan and Preston; those trains which continue to Glasgow then calling at
Lancaster, Oxenholme the Lake District, Penrith (not all trains), Carlisle, Motherwell (not
all trains) and Glasgow Central
Outside this pattern, further trains are speciﬁed:
in the morning peak to London and in the evening peak from London, an additional 2tph,
making a quarter-hourly service between Birmingham New Street, Birmingham
International, and London. Some of these trains will call at Coventry to meet demand there,
others may run non-stop south of Birmingham International, giving faster journey times for
peak travellers. An additional 1tph will be extended to run between Wolverhampton and
Birmingham New Street, making 2tph at peak times. The quarter-hourly
Birmingham/London paths are normally to be reserved during the day; for example to allow
additional trains to operate to serve major events at the NEC. This may not always be
feasible in the short term as some of these ‘slots’ may be required to accommodate other
trafﬁc through Rugby.
in the morning peak hours to London, three additional fast trains and in the evening
peak from London, two additional fast trains, calling only at Stockport and up to one
other station. An early morning southbound and a mid-evening northbound service via
Wilmslow and Northampton, with similar services in the mid-morning from London and
in the early afternoon from Manchester.
amendments to the standard pattern to provide a morning southbound peak service, with
fewer stops and a faster journey time than the standard hourly service.
as far as is viable within the available train ﬂeet, the hourly Preston/London service will
run from/to Glasgow. Initial indications are that these Scottish Services will be hourly for
parts of the day and two hourly services at other times. Two of these trains will run
from/to Edinburgh instead of Glasgow, with additional accelerated services in the same
hours between Glasgow and London. These latter additional services are speciﬁed to have
very few intermediate calls, giving much faster journey times and extra capacity at the
times when Glasgow and North West /London demand is at its highest.
The Scottish Services will be substantially accelerated in 2004, with the pattern above
implemented in 2005 when the next stage of route upgrading is completed.
ﬁve trains a day from North Wales are proposed as follows: one in the early morning
business peak, two further morning services and departures in the mid- and late
afternoon. Trains will be planned to leave London in the morning, at lunchtime, in the
early afternoon, in the evening peak and in the early evening. Some of these workings will
be ‘Pendolino’ services, diesel hauled from Crewe to North Wales, with adequate capacity
for the peak business and leisure trafﬁcs, and others will be worked by the four-coach 125
mile/h tilting diesel trains as had originally been envisaged. This mix of train type is felt
to be the best balance between the provision of adequate capacity and frequency, targeting
as it does the busiest times of day with adequate capacity trains (namely nine-car
Pendolino). A further advantage of this arrangement is that only two Voyager trains will
need to be released from the busy Cross Country routes for North Wales workings,
instead of four trains, compensated by the commitment of Pendolino trains on the route.
is speciﬁed to be served by a number of West Coast Trains services: to London, two in the
early morning commuter peak, one in mid-morning and one in the early afternoon; and
from London two in the mid-morning and one late in the evening commuter peak. The
journey time will be around 50 minutes on these trains. Two daily Pendolino trains will
operate to and from Manchester.
Speciﬁc stations calls
after the very early morning, West Coast Trains calls at Watford Junction and Milton
Keynes will be fewer in peak commuting hours, to ensure that line and train capacity is
available for longer-distance passengers, with corresponding strengthening of the
Silverlink services. Rugby is speciﬁed to have additional calls so that there are 2tph
to/from Euston in peak commuting hours. Tamworth and Lichﬁeld are speciﬁed to have
two peak calls in each direction, and to have calls in the midday Manchester/Wilmslow/
Northampton/London services. See Trent Valley section 3.8 for further information.
B2.1.2 Cross Country
2tph, all calling at Wolverhampton, Stoke on Trent and Stockport, 1tph also at Stafford,
Congleton and Macclesﬁeld. These will be linked through to the South West, South
Coast and Thames Valley. This improvement has been advanced and will now be
implemented in September 2003.
Manchester will be linked to Glasgow and Edinburgh, with trains normally calling at
Bolton, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme, Penrith, Carlisle, and then either Motherwell and
Glasgow Central or Lockerbie, Haymarket and Edinburgh.
one train per two hours from Plymouth via Bristol to Birmingham, and, on most
alternate hours, one starting at Birmingham. These will operate fast via Crewe and
Preston to Carlisle and Glasgow/Edinburgh. Intermediate calls will be ﬂexible dependent
on demand and capacity.
B2.1.3 Sleeping Car Services
As now, except that to ensure that appropriate opportunity is available for route
maintenance and renewal, it is likely to be necessary for the Sunday night/Monday
morning sleeping car services to be diverted over one of three possible diversionary routes:
Dumfries, Settle or Manchester. The journey time extension would typically be around
1 hr 30 min. to 2 hours. On this particular night, these are the only revenue-earning
passenger services on the section of line between Crewe and Scotland, and there is minimal
frieght trafﬁc. Such diversion considerably helps the ongoing maintenance of the routes.
Services from London King’s Cross will operate over the WCML between Carstairs and
Glasgow as currently.
B2.2 London Commuter Services
B2.2.1 Peak services (7 per hour)
Two fast Northampton trains, with a journey time of around 60 minutes
Two stopping services (one to Tring and one to Milton Keynes)
Two semi-fast trains to Milton Keynes/Bletchley/Northampton
One semi-fast train to Rugby
This gives the same overall frequency of 21 trains as exists today from Euston during the
evening peak (between 1600 and 1859). While the prime peak hour has one fewer train,
additional accommodation is provided through the use of 12-car trains, each offering
50% capacity increase.
12-car workings are planned for the fast/semi-fast workings in peak times. However, all
stations between London and Northampton will now have 12-car platforms so that peak
service options are not permanently limited and the ﬂexibility of the railway to meet
contingencies is not unduly compromised.
B2.2.2 Off peak services (5 per hour)
One fast Northampton train, with a journey time of around 60 minutes
Two stopping services (one to Tring and one to Milton Keynes)
One semi-fast train to Northampton
One semi-fast train to Rugby
The resultant frequencies between London and each station are speciﬁed to be:
trains per hour peak off-peak
Harrow & Wealdstone 3 2
Bushey 2 2
Watford Junction 7 4
Kings Langley 2 2
Apsley 2 2
Hemel Hempstead 4 4
Berkhamsted 4 4
Tring 3 2
Cheddington 2 1
Leighton Buzzard 4 3
Bletchley 4 3
Milton Keynes Central 6 4
Wolverton 3 2
Northampton 3/4 3
Long Buckby 1 1
Rugby 1 1
In addition West Coast Trains’ services between Northampton, Milton Keynes and London, and
calls from/to the north at Watford Junction, have been described in B2.1 above.
London/Watford Local Line: 3tph
South Central/Watford: 1tph
B2.3 Inter-Regional and Regional Services
Birmingham – Wolverhampton – Telford – Shrewsbury with extensions to Mid/North Wales:
Birmingham – Liverpool:
1tph, calling at Wolverhampton, Penkridge, Stafford, Crewe, Hartford (one call per peak
period), Runcorn and Liverpool Lime St. This fast service at a regular hourly frequency
commences in September 2003, using Central Trains’ class 170 100 mile/h diesel trains.
It is planned to upgrade the service in 2005 by deploying new high performance electric
trains, of ‘InterCity’ standard. This improved performance will bring better use of line
capacity and allow some acceleration.
Birmingham – Preston:
1tph, calling at Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe, Hartford (two-hourly), Warrington,
Wigan and Preston. This service will be implemented during 2005, using new high
performance electric trains of ‘InterCity’ standard.
Other Inter-Regional and Regional services in North West England are, for clarity,
described with local services.
B2.4 Local Services
B2.4.1 West Midlands
Northampton – Birmingham:
2tph calling at Long Buckby, Rugby, Coventry, Canley, Tile Hill, Berkswell, Hampton-in-
Arden, Birmingham International, and Birmingham New Street. Initially, until the works
at Rugby are completed this service may not be able to operate more than hourly between
Northampton and Coventry.
Birmingham International – Birmingham New St:
Walsall – Birmingham:
2tph fast, one running from Stafford via Rugeley and the other from Hednesford; and
Birmingham – Wolverhampton:
Birmingham New Street – Stourbridge Junction and beyond:
1tph all day (2tph peak if possible)
Rugby – Stafford:
Key stations will be served by some West Coast Trains’ calls. Options for smaller stations
on this route will depend on the ﬁnal availability of track capacity and the viability of
through linking to London/Northampton/Rugby services.
B2.4.2 Manchester Region
The services in the South Manchester area will beneﬁt from the layout at Stockport. A
revised service speciﬁcation with modiﬁed through linkages and more effective use of line
capacity is currently under construction.
B2.4.3 Liverpool Area
The route to Crewe will be used by the London services, a self-contained stopping
service to Crewe at two hourly intervals, the fast service to Birmingham and regional
services to Cardiff.
B2.4.4 Lancashire and Cumbria
The timetable speciﬁcation for this area is unchanged from today, but it may be necessary
to change the speciﬁc time in the hour when some of the longer distance services operate
in order to obtain a better match with the other longer distance services. It should be
noted that there is likely to be another phase of timetable amendment in this area when
the longer distance services are accelerated in 2005 as the full ﬁnal line speeds are
Strathclyde area local services will operate on the same routes and at the same frequencies
Freight services operating along the WCML will be rescheduled in order to ﬁt within the
standard hourly paths provided within the new timetable structure. Indications are that,
despite the short term capacity pinch point at Rugby, it will be possible to path at least
the current WCML freight tonnages. As works are completed, it will be possible to add
additional services. The planned capacity for freight is detailed in Appendix C. Logistics
services are expected to be able to use the fast lines for most of their journey, initially
taking advantage of the way in which the West Coast Trains’ services will not be using all
the available line capacity in off-peak periods.
Appendix C: Indicative freight paths available from this Strategy
Paths each hour
Route Section Per Hour Per Hour Per Hour Per Hour Trailing Trailing No.of Loco Target Trains Trains Trains Trains Totals
Path From To Peak Off peak Evening Overnight Speed Weight Length Locos Class Journey Peak Off peak Evening Overnight per Day
A Willesden Shieldmuir 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 125 mph - - - t.b.c 5h 00m 2 4 2 4 12
Class 1 Class 1 Class 1 Class 1
To include 15 min call at Warrington Res terminal in each direction. No Stafford Res call. Timings equivalent to Class 221.
B Wembley Crewe 1x 1x 1x 2x 75 mph 1260t 775m 1 90 3h 00m 3 10 3 16 32
via TV Class 4 Class 4 Class 4 Class 4
C Camden Crewe Nil 1x 2x 2x 75 mph 1200t 775m 1 66 3h 30m 0 10 6 16 32
Jn via TV Class 4 Class 4 Class 4
D1 Wembley Nuneaton Nil 0.5 x 1x 0.5 x 60 mph 1200t 640m 1 66 - 0 4 3 4 11
Class 6 Class 6 Class 6
D2 Wembley Warrington Nil 0.5 x 1x 0.5 x 60 mph 1200t 640m 1 92 4h 50m 0 4 3 4 11
via TV Class 6 Class 6 Class 6
In off peak and overnight hours, paths D1 and D2 to be common diesel Class 6 path between Wembley and Nuneaton
E Bushbury Crewe 1x 1x 1x 1x 75 mph 1200t 640m 1 66 - 3 10 3 8 24
Jn Class 4 Class 4 Class 4 Class 4
F Crewe Manchester 1x 1x 1x 2x 75 mph 1260t 775m 1 90 1h 15m 3 10 3 16 32
T.P. Class 4 Class 4 Class 4 class 4
G Crewe Heaton 1x 1x 1x 1x 60 mph 1100t 640m 1 66 - 3 10 3 8 24
Norris Jn Class 6 Class 6 Class 6 Class 6
H Crewe Garston 0.5 x 0.5 x 1x 1x 60 mph 1200t 640m 1 66 1h 00m 2 4 3 8 17
Class 6 Class 6 Class 6 Class 6
In off peak hour, path H to be common path between Crewe and Weaver Jn with Path D2
I Crewe Mossend 1x 1x 1x 1x 75 mph 970t 640m 1 90 4h 40m 3 10 3 8 24
Class 4 Class 4 Class 4 Class 4
J Crewe Coatbridge 1 x 1x 2x 2x 75 mph 1250t 775m 2 86 4h 40m 3 10 6 16 35
Class 4 Class 4 Class 4 Class 4
Paths each hour
Route Section Per Hour Per Hour Per Hour Per Hour Trailing Trailing No.of Loco Target Trains Trains Trains Trains Totals
Path From To Peak Off peak Evening Overnight Speed Weight Length Locos Class Journey Peak Off peak Evening Overnight per Day
K1 Bushbury Winwick 1x 1x 1x 1x 60 mph 1400t* 640m 2 66 - 3 10 3 8 24
Jn Jn Class 6 Class 6 Class 6 Class 6
K2 Winwick Gretna 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 60 mph 1400t* 640m 2 66 - 2 4 2 4 12
Jn Jn Class 6 Class 6 Class 6 Class 6
Path K2 is Path K1 extended to Gretna Jn each alternate hour for coal trafﬁc
L Warrington Mossend 1x 1x 1x 1x 60 mph 1400t 775m 1 92 5h 00m 3 10 3 8 24
Class 6 Class 6 Class 6 Class 6
M Carlisle Gretna 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 60 mph 1400t* 640m 1 66 - 2 4 2 4 12
Jn Class 6 Class 6 Class 6 Class 6
Path M to be common path between Carlisle and Gretna Jn with Path K2
NOTES: Peak hours: 0600 to 0930 southbound and 1630 to 1900 northbound
Off peak hours: 0930 to 1900 southbound and 0600 to 1630 northbound
Evening hours: 1900 to 2200. Total 3 hours
Overnight hours: 2200 to 0600. Total 8 hours
* Northbound services
** Southbound services
The precise number of trains in each timeband will be ﬁnalised when the detailed timetable work on the transitional hours between the timebands is complete.
In order to optimise capacity North of Preston, it may not necessarilry be the best solution for these paths to be on a strictly hourly pattern, given that thre are varied passenger and freight
requirements in different hours.
Appendix D: Planned implementation arrangements
Planned implementation arrangements
A summary is provided in this section describing the individual engineering programmes required
to achieve the outputs of the Strategy.
D1. Euston – Watford 2003-4
Closed from January 2003 each Saturday night after 2130 hours (last southbound trains
at 2300) until 0930 the following Sunday morning for the period to Autumn 2004.
Alternative service via the parallel ‘DC’ lines between London and Watford, with forward
connections by train and/or coach.
D2. Summer 2003
Colwich – Cheadle Hulme via Macclesﬁeld and Stoke closed. The Manchester – London
and Manchester – Birmingham services to operate via Wilmslow instead. Coach and
bus links provided to ensure continuity of links into the rail network for users of
North West Cheadle
and Scotland Stockport
Chester and Hazel Grove
(closed for first part of period
June/July for electrification works) Macclesfield
Euston Rail routes
Route sections closed
for renewal and upgrade
services when route
D3. August Bank Holiday Week 2003
D3.1 There will be no replication of 2002’s 18 weekend closures for Ledburn Junction works.
Hemel Hempstead – Milton Keynes will be closed for nine days including two weekends,
for the installation of the new junction at Bourne End.
D3.2. In addition to the coach shuttles from Hemel Hempstead to Milton Keynes and beyond,
there will be an alternative link to the Midland Main Line with a coach link to
Wellingborough from Northampton.
D3.3 Furthermore, additional capacity will be provided on the alternative Birmingham –
London routes, and the alternative Manchester – St Pancras service will be operating.
D3.4 It will be necessary to undertake extensive rewiring of the relay room at Manchester
Longsight. This will involve a nine-day total closure of the route between Manchester and
Stockport and between Manchester and Manchester Airport. This work is of an urgent,
safety critical nature and cannot be deferred. Trains to Shefﬁeld and beyond and to
London St Pancras will be diverted via an alternative route, not calling at Stockport. Other
services will be curtailed and replaced by road links around the affected area. Depot access
to the key maintenance facility at Longsight will be maintained, but restricted.
D4. October to December 2003
D4.1 Crewe – Stafford: closure of three of four tracks, retaining a northbound track at all
times, but major business peak ﬂow trains will still operate along normal routes with a
second track opened specially.
D4.2 Off peak southbound passenger and freight trains to operate via the newly electriﬁed
parallel route via Kidsgrove and Stoke, electriﬁcation of which is now incorporated in the
Project, for delivery in the Summer of 2003.
D4.3 Throughout the period, a number of conventional weekend closures will be necessary for
major re-modelling and re-signalling of the Stafford area.
D5. October 2003 to May 2004
D5.1 Crewe – Cheadle Hulme closed every weekend and on Mondays-Fridays from January
2004 to May 2004. Freight trains and the few Manchester – London/Manchester –
Birmingham services routed this way to operate via Stoke and Macclesﬁeld instead.
D5.2 Cardiff – Crewe – Manchester services to be diverted via Stoke and Macclesﬁeld. Special
coach services will be available and a special Wilmslow – Manchester local train shuttle
D6. Summer 2004
D6.1. The Manchester area will also be affected in Summer 2004 with an extensive blockade of
the Stockport area for full renewal of the track foundations, the track, the switch and
crossing work, the overhead line and the signalling. Trains would be diverted via Styal for
most of the period, with road links to Stockport. For a period of a few days, these
diversions will not be possible and the service arrangements will be the same as during the
Longsight work described in D3.4 above. The arrangement of the tracks between Cheadle
October – December 2003
Crewe – Stafford
(Southbound trains diverted except 0600-1000 Monday-Friday)
North West and Stockport
open at all times
Centre 2 tracks Stoke-
closed for upgrading
Southbound open in peak
period (Mon-Fri 06.00-10.00)
Route of diverted
services when southbound
line is blocked between
Crewe and Stafford
All key rail links retained
(During some weekends and over the Christmas 2003 holiday period, all lines will be closed
at Stafford for track renewal and resignalling. Trains will be diverted via Stoke-on-Trent and
coach links provided)
January – May 2004
(Also Saturdays and Sundays October – December 2003)
and Scotland Stockport
(through services Cardiff to
Manchester diverted via Stoke) Stafford Derby and
Route sections closed
for renewal and upgrade
services when route
Hulme (Adswood Road) and Slade Lane, via Stockport will be reconﬁgured for better line
capacity and performance. This had originally been programmed for a seven week period
during July and August. Precise dates remain to be determined.
D6.2 More recently, a detailed assessment has showed that it should be possible to complete
much of the work within the planned period, but the overall scale of work will preclude
full completion. It should however, be possible to complete the main disruptive work and
complete at least the fast lines between Slade Lane and Stockport and bring at least four
platforms into use at Stockport. This temporary lower functionality will enable a modiﬁed
train service to be operated, with some effect on peak additional trains and stopping
patterns. There will be capacity for the fully enhanced service to London and
Birmingham at this stage. The whole of the layout would then be commissioned during
normal possession periods and at weekends.
D6.3 This scale of possession in the Stockport area is more substantial than would typically be
the case for a re-signalling scheme. There are two prime reasons; the ﬁrst is that the size of
the overall work is that of a total route renewal project. The second is that the existing
asset condition prevents advance preparatory works from being undertaken. While in a
safe condition currently, it cannot be modiﬁed to permit, for example, some of the new
pointwork to be brought into use under the control of the existing signalling.
D7. South of Rugby
D7.1 To the south of Rugby, it is planned to complete the following other essential work before
a) Installation and commissioning of the new junctions at Ledburn and Bourne End and
removal of the old junctions.
b) Installation of some of the ﬁnal switch and crossing work at Bletchley.
c) Essential track work and overhead line works on the ‘middle lines’, the southbound
fast and the northbound slow lines, which are difﬁcult to access during conventional
possessions because of the historically very tight clearances between the tracks on the
d) Commissioning of re-signalling between Bletchley North and Rugby (exclusive) via the
e) Line speed enhancement works, affecting signal positioning.
f ) Installation of the new junctions within the Rugby complex and certain bridgeworks,
so that the Rugby scheme works can proceed in the period beyond September 2004
with minimised disruption.
D7.2 This work – in total, very signiﬁcant in nature – is likely to require the following periods
of possession, planned around holiday periods:
a) Nine days (Saturday to Sunday) at the Late Summer Bank Holiday 2003, as detailed
in the draft Strategy.
b) Possessions over the Christmas period 2003.
c) Four days (Saturday to Tuesday) at Easter 2004.
d) Three days (Saturday to Monday) at the May Holiday weekend 2004.
e) Nine days (Saturday to Sunday) at the Spring Bank Holiday 2004, also affecting all
routes at Rugby.
f ) Nine days (Saturday to Sunday) at the Late Summer Bank Holiday 2004.
During these works the alternative travel arrangements will be organised as shown in 6.3
of the main text.
D7.3 It is appreciated that this represents in total a signiﬁcant period of extensive engineering
work. However, it is felt to be considerably better to concentrate the disruptive work
around these 2004 holiday periods. This not only secures the improved route outputs in
Autumn 2004 but also achieves advance works, so that remaining elements of the project
can be undertaken with far lower levels of disruption in the important post 2004 period.
This is as envisaged within the draft Strategy.
D7.4 It will be necessary to undertake work in the Nuneaton area at the same time as the 2004
work to the south of Rugby in order to bring the ﬁrst phase of the Nuneaton layout, the
new ﬂyover and platforms, into use. The diversionary route via Birmingham will be open
during these periods.
D8. Works planned between 2004 and 2008
D8.1 The signiﬁcant works planned for the period beyond September 2004 are listed below.
These are being programmed in more detail; the current provisional dates shown in italics.
Rugby re-modelling 2004-6, but with through routes available at all times, except for short
changeover periods at Bank Holiday weekends.
Nuneaton full re-signalling Summer 2005.
Trent Valley four-tracking and re-signalling, including the Tamworth – Armitage section
Rugeley – Colwich – Stafford – Norton Bridge 2005-8.
Crewe – Ditton resignalling 2006-7.
Euxton Junction 2005.
Appendix E: Consultation and stakeholders
E1 The Consultation exercise took place with those having an interest in the West Coast
Route between 9 October and 16 December 2002. Stakeholders were asked to submit
any initial comments by 4 November, in order that the SRA could be informed at an
early date of key issues. Many organisations met this request, thereby speeding up the
process of consideration.
E2 Responses were generally favourable. Most organisations welcomed the fact that decisions
are now being taken, but were generally interested in the resulting timetables and levels of
service. It was recognised that improvements and renewals are being put forward.
E3 The Highways Agency and many local authorities have asked to be involved and
informed of planned engineering work so that any impact on the road network can be
assessed and as far as possible minimised.
E4 Whilst most of the responses concerned the level of service to be provided once the work
has been advanced, there were some requests and representations for speciﬁc infrastructure
developments. The following section sets out a summary, with examples of the types of
key issues brought to the attention of the SRA. They do not necessarily represent a
complete list of matters of interest to stakeholders. Each respondent is, however, being
contacted direct over the issues they have raised.
E5 There was some disappointment expressed that 140mile/h running was not part of the
Strategy. It should be noted that the key beneﬁt associated with this higher line speed –
very much reduced journey times between key destinations – may well be delivered as
part of this revised approach to the West Coast line. In any case the ability to operate the
Pendolino trains at their maximum performance with improvements to many of the lower
speed restrictions is not ruled out for the longer term.
London – Rugby section
E6 Much interest has been shown in the type of service to be operated for the commuter
trafﬁc, both from heavily used stations such as Milton Keynes and Watford, as well as the
intermediate points of, for example, Apsley, Bushey and Kings Langley. The need for
longer platforms at these stations has been put to the SRA and these are now included in
the build programme.
E7 Many respondents sought regular patterned timetables and concern was expressed at the
possibility of peak service reductions at certain locations. New stations proposed at
Rugby, adjacent to the Radio Station site, as well as ‘Northampton City South’, to serve
potential new development have been put to the SRA. Discussions with the promoters of
such schemes continue to ascertain the business case and to ensure that capacity of the
West Coast line is not inhibited by such plans.
E8 Northampton was considered of sufﬁcient signiﬁcance to be included on the ‘InterCity’
network and this point is being carried forward as part of the timetable design process
with some services to both London and Manchester in the timetable speciﬁcation.
Similarly, support was expressed for the continuation of the Gatwick Airport service,
operating at half-hourly intervals and for this to be extended beyond Watford. Capacity
should be available for this, but an improvement in frequency and extensions to Milton
Keynes will depend on a clear business case being made.
E9 A number of bodies sought to achieve Willesden as a stop on the London - Northampton
commuter services for interchange with local services. However, in the immediate future,
this would undoubtedly reduce capacity for and lengthen journey times on the commuter
trains unless extensive infrastructure works were undertaken.
E10 The dialogue with stakeholders, especially the key local authorities, but also the various
user groups, over the detailed timetables for the ‘south of Rugby’ outer suburban services
and the stopping pattern of the longer distance trains, will continue. The local knowledge
of such bodies is fully acknowledged by the SRA and will be used in the planning process.
E11 Over 1,000 representations were received from users of Bushey station expressing concern
that the fast service to London was under threat. The SRA was impressed by the strength
of arguments advanced and is currently considering various service options as part of the
overall review of capacity allocation on the route with the London Commuter working
group set up as a result of the consultation exercise. The platforms on the slow lines at
Bushey will be extended to allow 12-car trains to call.
E12 Talks are taking place with the local authorities over the plans for rebuilding Rugby station,
to ensure in particular that there is co-ordination with wider redevelopment aspirations.
E13 A number of issues arose in the dialogue with the Passenger Transport Authority and
Executive and with local business representatives. The effect on local services and the
ability to provide attractive and reliable frequencies was of particular concern, especially
between Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. It was also believed that there
might be some capacity constraints at other points and that other local services might be
affected. A robust timetable pattern is being ﬁnalised, with West Midlands local stations
retaining existing frequencies, with more train capacity and new trains on the ‘Coventry
corridor.’ Some local through links across Birmingham will be changed, but service
performance and resilience will improve. New platform capacity and ﬂexibility will be
achieved by the provision of two new platforms at Birmingham New St., one new
platform at Wolverhampton and a new turnback facility at Birmingham International.
E14 There was some concern expressed over the loss of the through Silverlink ‘all stations’
service between Birmingham and London. It was considered that this offers a low cost
option to reach the capital. Although such comments are appreciated, it has to be
recognised that an alternative route will continue to be available between of the West
Midlands, via the Chiltern line to and from London and that a half-hourly service on that
route should be possible following the re-signalling of the Banbury to Leamington Spa
line. The need to introduce timetables that not only meet passengers’ needs, but are
robust and can be maintained reliably, are key parts of the Strategy. For that reason, it is
proposed to operate the ‘stopping service’ in two shorter overlapping sections as described
elsewhere in this strategy (see 3.7.4).
E15 Improvements were requested in the links with Liverpool and Manchester. These are
being dealt with and delivered as part of the timetable planning exercise.
E16 Local representatives sought the electriﬁcation of the Wolverhampton – Shrewsbury route
along with other lines in the West Midlands, such as between Coventry and Nuneaton.
Whilst there is some merit in such thoughts, they will not form part of this Strategy.
Electriﬁcation may provide some greater ﬂexibility in both train planning and
performance, but it is difﬁcult to justify such proposals at the present time, within the
resources available to the railway industry.
E17 A new station was sought on the Coventry – Nuneaton line at Arena, to serve a new
development. This is outside the scope of this Strategy but is understood to be under
examination separately by West Midlands PTE.
E18 The substantial engineering programme affecting Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesﬁeld and all
other communities on the Colwich Junction – Cheadle Hulme section of line for the
Summer of 2003, has dominated much of the consultation exercise. It is hoped that
availability of alternative rail and road links through this and subsequent possessions has
reassured local people and customers of the railway that it is still open for business, albeit
with substantial reliance on road transport.
E19 The electriﬁcation of the Crewe – Kidsgove line was welcomed although it was hoped
that the line could be doubled at the same time. Whilst the present work should not
prevent this taking place if needed in the longer term, it could not be justiﬁed at present,
as the prime purpose was to act as a ‘one way’ diversionary route for West Coast trains in
September 2003 and doubling would have delayed the scheme completion.
E20 Pressure has arisen from representatives of Wilmslow for the continuation of through
trains to/from London, realising that the key West Coast Route will now be via Stoke-on-
Trent. The business case, to establish the present and future levels of trafﬁc expected at
Wilmslow, is currently being investigated.
E21 A plan for a new station at Featherstone/Brinsford, between Wolverhampton and
Stafford, has also been placed before the SRA. It is being considered but before it could
proceed it is essential to ensure that line capacity would not be reduced and that there is a
sound business case.
E22 The main interest has centred on the actual improvements to be made to the number and
speed of the London – North Wales through trains. Additionally, requests have been
made to increase the line speed of the route through North Wales. This latter point may
be addressed subsequently, but the immediate task has been to plan and test a timetable
for the 2004 service that can be operated with the available rolling stock and which meets
identiﬁed passenger needs.
E23 Apart from the disappointment that introduction of 140mile/h running was not being
pursued at this stage, the main issue was the impact on local train services as a result of
the Strategy. This particular matter is being dealt through detailed dialogues with Greater
Manchester PTE and the current local train provider, First North Western.
E24 An important aspect of Merseytravel’s transport strategy is the building and
commissioning of Liverpool South Parkway, previously known as Allerton Interchange.
It was considered essential by them that this be well served by both long distance and
local trains. Although the Liverpool – London service is unlikely to stop at Allerton,
provision could well be made for more local and regional links to serve this station.
E25 There is strong pressure for improved services with Birmingham, London and through
links to Scotland. The London and Birmingham services will be upgraded as a result of
this Strategy, with regular hourly frequencies and new trains.
E26 Preston, Wigan and Warrington were considered important interchange points both for
Lancashire and for the surrounding hinterland. All expected improved services as a result
of this Strategy. This particular matter will be taken forward in further discussions with
Lancashire and Cumbria County Councils, plus other key bodies.
E27 There was pressure to improve links between North West England and Scotland. This
included new early morning services to both Glasgow and Edinburgh, but essential
overnight engineering work necessary on the northern section of the West Coast route is
unlikely to allow this aspiration to be met currently. The frequency of services, the calling
pattern of trains at intermediate stations (such as Lancaster, Oxenholme and Penrith) and
the trade-off with improved Anglo-Scottish long distance timings is being considered.
E28 Initially there appeared to be some misunderstanding that journey times for the Anglo-
Scottish services would not improve at an early date. Hopefully this has now been
clariﬁed. Faster journey times will be provided from Autumn 2004, with further
acceleration in 2005.
E29 A strong view was expressed by many parties that some of the Glasgow services should
operate in accelerated schedules, with limited station calls.
E30 There was agreement amongst the majority of respondents that the bulk of Scottish West
Coast Trains’ services should operate to and from Glasgow. However, there was need for a
link with Edinburgh, a point especially made by City of Edinburgh Council, in particular
the need for links from the intermediate points on the WCML, not served by Cross
Country has been highlighted.
E31 There was a request for a local service between Carlisle and Glasgow, with new
intermediate stations. This is the subject of a separate study, in which the SRA is
participating. Assurances were sought from the Strathclyde PTE in particular that local
services in and around Glasgow would not be affected. It is not envisaged that there
would be any negative impact locally as the long distance trains will be planned to use the
standard ‘slots’ available within the local service framework.
E32 The importance of the Anglo-Scottish sleeper services has been expressed and assurances
sought that they would not be adversely affected, particularly during the renewal and
upgrade work. This is the subject of detailed discussions within the industry. It does appear
necessary to divert these trains on a Sunday night/Monday morning (see section 3.14.2).
E33 The Scottish Executive has said that a signiﬁcant number of ‘West Coast’ passengers do
not actually travel to/from London and more attractive and reliable services should reﬂect
this point to serve a range of locations. It is intended that timetable design for West Coast
and Cross Country takes this into consideration.
Railway industry comments
E34 Although there has been ongoing discussion between the SRA and the various freight and
passenger operating companies, which will continue, each operator took the opportunity
to summarise its views on the draft Strategy. Whilst not intending to list all such
comments, many of which have been taken into consideration in this Strategy, the
following seeks to give a broad ‘ﬂavour’ of the key points.
E35 The freight companies wished to highlight the considerable investment in new
locomotives and rolling stock – comparable with the acquisition of the Pendolinos – a
point acknowledged by the SRA. They were also keen to point out the good value for
money from increasing freight by rail, but were anxious to establish the means by which
more powerful locomotives might be secured. There was concern over the extensive
engineering and possession programme, which may impede the ﬂow of freight.
Discussions have resolved most of these possession concerns – for example, the key freight
trafﬁcs will be retained on rail during the summer 2003 Stoke route works.
E36 The passenger companies pointed out the impact such a scale of changes would have on
present operations, ﬁnances and franchise terms, but were all keen to co-operate in both
planning and implementation. The impact of the new London St Pancras – Manchester
service in seeking to retain key ﬂows of trafﬁc on rail was of particular interest. There was
disappointment expressed over the reduction in line speed from 140mile/h to 125mile/h
at this stage, although as has been pointed out elsewhere, this is not ruled out for the
E37 The effect of the possessions, which will interrupt many services, requiring either
re-routing or bus replacements, was highlighted. Indeed much effort will have to be made
by the whole industry to ensure any lost business is more than regained, once normal
running is restored. The SRA is conﬁdent that the new and more resilient infrastructure
will ensure this succeeds. Suggestions were made for various small scale infrastructure
upgrades, some of which are outside the scope of this project. Each will be looked at in
due course, to determine their merit and business case.
(terms used in this document or likely to arise in subsequent discussion)
ATP Automatic train protection – a system which, if a driver fails to apply the brakes
in sufﬁcient time, automatically applies them so as to bring the train to a stand
before passing a signal at danger
EMU Electrical Multiple Unit train
ERTMS European Rail Trafﬁc Management System – an advanced train control system
that also provides ATP
Headway The minimum interval permitted between trains on a particular section of track
HST High Speed (diesel) Train introduced from 1976
Joint A ‘round-table’ forum of senior executives of the train operators, infrastructure
(or Virtual) maintenance and renewal companies and Network Rail, and of the SRA and
Board ORR, to engage in problem solving to drive substantial and lasting
improvements in train service delivery
Multi-Modal A programme of studies of transport options in key corridors across the country
Studies to help determine long term planning
Overlap A section of track after a signal that must be clear, and be kept so before another
train can be allowed to approach that signal
ORR Ofﬁce of the Rail Regulator
OLE Overhead Line Equipment – elements of infrastructure associated with the
transmission of electric power from supply sub-station by overhead wires to an
electric train or locomotive equipped with collection equipment
Possession Where part of the infrastructure is closed to other trafﬁc and taken over by
contractors, or others, to carry out maintenance, renewal or enhancement work
Project The speciﬁc project to renew and upgrade the WCML
PSR Passenger Service Requirement (the minimum speciﬁed level of service provision
required under a passenger franchise)
PTEs Passenger Transport Executives (bodies responsible for planning and securing
public transport services in certain major metropolitan areas outside London)
RPC Rail Passengers’ Council and Rail Passengers’ Committees, the statutory rail
passenger ‘watchdog’ body
The Rail The independent regulator of the railway industry operating under powers
Regulator granted by the Railways Act 1993, the Competition Act 1998 and the Transport
Rules of Rules regulating the standard timings and other matters that the trains,
Plan including trains moved empty for logistical reasons, to be scheduled into the
‘working timetable’ drawn up by Network Rail to show, as far as reasonably
practicable, every train movement on the network
Rules of Rules regulating possessions for operational access and engineering and
the Route incorporation of allowances in train schedules to allow for performance and
engineering temporary speed restrictions
SPAD Signal Passed At Danger
SRA Planning Current appraisal methodology for passenger services, to be extended to cover
Criteria freight services
TfL Transport for London – the body responsible for planning and provision of
transport facilities within the capital
TPWS Train Protection & Warning System – a newly-installed safety system designed
to mitigate the effect of SPADs (qv)
Track Access An agreement between Railtrack (or other infrastructure controller) and a train
Agreement operator giving the operator permission to use track subject to terms and
(TAA) conditions as deﬁned in the agreement. Track Access Agreements are subject to
Track Access A set of rules which underpin all individual track access agreements
Train path A slot in a timetable for running an individual train
TWA Transport and Works Act 1992 – among other matters it sets out consultation
and other procedures required for the progression of infrastructure projects
WCML West Coast Main Line – the main rail route between London Euston,
Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, North Wales, the North West, Glasgow
WCRM West Coast Route Modernisation – the renewal and upgrade of the WCML
West Coast Route Modernisation Team
Strategic Rail Authority
55 Victoria Street
London SW1H OEU
Fax: 020 7152 4170
Phone: 020 7152 4626
Front cover photos, left to right:
1. Construction Photography
2. Alvey & Towers
3. Silverlink (part of the National Express Group plc)
4. Milepost 92 1/2
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