Thursday 3 July 2014

Prime Minister announces rail improvement package for Cornwall

Extract from Department for Transport Press Release 3 July 2014:

Cornwall will benefit from a multi-million pound package of rail improvements that will lift the local economy, create new jobs and provide faster train journeys, the Prime Minister announced today (3 July 2014).

The £146.6 million deal has tourism at its core. Passengers travelling by sleeper train into the county will be able to start their holiday relaxing in newly refurbished carriages.

The deal will ensure:
the interior of the Night Riviera Sleeper trains, which run between Penzance and London - one of only two sleeper services in the UK - will be completely overhauled
the Long Rock train maintenance site at Penzance will be expanded to maintain Cornwall’s sleeper trains, safeguarding jobs and creating new training opportunities
a major programme of signalling improvements will start five years earlier than planned, providing faster journeys between Penzance and Totnes and paving the way for the potential introduction of half-hourly services on the Cornish mainline.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

Ensuring that we have first class infrastructure across Britain is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and provide a brighter future for hardworking people. This investment, which will boost the local economy and improve connectivity, is great news for Cornwall, the south-west and beyond.

The package includes £9 million of funding from the Department for Transport (DfT), £29.6 million secured through Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), £103.5 million from Network Rail and £4.5 million from train operator First Great Western.

Read the full press release here:

Futher information from Business Cornwall here .  
BBC news item here .


Cornwall Council has been working closely with the LEP, First Great Western and Network Rail in putting together this £146 million package of improvements. The timing of the bid to Central Government could hardly have been better given the extended publicity over last winter’s rail service disruptions at Dawlish and elsewhere. There was a political need to be seen to be doing something about rail services in the South West.
Penzance Chamber of Commerce , FRIST , IOSSCO and Imrys provided representation (a supporting cast) for the presentation to Ministers in The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on 8 May 2014 arranged by Cornwall Council and its project partners.

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