Theresa May has welcomed the publication of Network Rail’s new strategic plan, which confirms plans to electrify the Great Western route serving Maidenhead and Twyford, and opens the possibility of extending electrification to the Thames Valley branch lines. The plan follows on from the Government’s announcement that it would provide £14 billion to Network Rail to improve rail infrastructure, and that the Great Western line would be electrified to ensure quicker and cleaner services.
Network Rail will electrify the line between London and Bristol, including Newbury and Oxford, by 2016 and to Cardiff by 2017. The plan was first announced by the Government in 2010.
Network Rail’s strategic plan for 2014-19 confirms that the electrification of the Thames Valley branch lines – which terminate at Henley-on-Thames and Marlow, and also serve Furze Platt, Cookham and Wargrave – will also be considered. This was called for by Theresa in her response to the Department for Transport’s consultation on the future of the Great Western franchise.
Commenting, Theresa said: “I am very pleased that Network Rail are considering extending electrification to the Thames Valley branch lines, which are crucial routes serving my constituents in Furze Platt, Cookham and Wargrave. This is something that I have previously called for, and will be important in ensuring that direct services to London are maintained on the branch lines.”
“Overall, the electrification of the Great Western route is very welcome and will be part of the work that is needed to reduce overcrowding.”