Virgin Pendolino on West Coast Main Line

A Driver's View of the West Coast Main Line

Penolino approaches on West Coast Main Line

General Council of Campaign meets in Carlisle
14th February 2013

The General Council of West Coast Rail 250 met in Carlisle on Thursday 14 February.

This was another return visit to the City where the Campaign was launched over 20 years ago in November 1992 when amazingly to people now, it looked possible that no significant investment would take place on the UK’s most important rail route. Then, the City Council and Cumbria County Council took it upon themselves to organise a lobby for investment to help the economy of the North. This West Coast Main Line Lobby developed into the West Coast Rail 250 national campaign which includes Wales and Scotland and most local authorities from Hertfordshire to Glasgow.

General Council heard from Network Rail about that organisation's involvement in taking forward the HS2 proposals, and from Transport for Scotland about its aspirations for High Speed Rail. General Council agreed a new Campaign Plan for 2013, a year during which the HS proposals for route and services will be developed, and preparations will be underway for the shortly to be resumed ICWC franchise competition.

West Coast Rail 250’s current campaigning aims continue to have at its heart investment in the route and services that will help the economy of all of the towns and cities that stretch along the 400 miles between Glasgow and London, as well as the links through Wales to Ireland.

The Campaign continues to lobby for physical improvements to the WCML to help freight and passenger trains, as well as improvements to the passenger services operated along it including Virgin, TransPennine Express, and London Midland.

West Coast Rail 250 continues to campaign for the extension of the High Speed 2 line to Scotland via Cumbria.

West Coast Rail 250 is encouraging Virgin Trains to take advantage of the 23 month extension it has gained, following the recent suspension of the process to retender the WCML contract, by testing out innovations on current services as well as introducing new routes.

We want the existing and new franchisees which have responsibility for all stations on the WCML, some of which have been acknowledged to be the worst in the country, to commit to making improvements to car parking and facilities to improve the travelling experience for all passengers.


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