GW wiring to be closely mon­i­tored

Rail (UK) - - Network News -

Gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to as­sess all el­e­ments of the Great Western Main Line elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme to en­sure it re­mains de­liv­er­able and af­ford­able, ac­cord­ing to Rail Min­is­ter Paul May­nard.

Re­ply­ing to a Com­mons Writ­ten Ques­tion from Kate Hollern (Labour, Black­burn) on March 21, May­nard said: “In 2015, in re­sponse to cost in­creases and sched­ule de­lays on as­pects of Network Rail’s in­vest­ment pro­gramme, Sir Peter Hendy was asked to re-plan the pro­gramme in a way that was both af­ford­able and de­liv­er­able.

“In re­sponse to the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Bowe Re­view into the plan­ning of the cur­rent rail in­vest­ment pe­riod, Network Rail has un­der­taken an En­hance­ments Im­prove­ment Plan which has strength­ened, among other things, cost es­ti­ma­tion, project and port­fo­lio mon­i­tor­ing, project de­liv­ery and project gov­er­nance.

“Four elec­tri­fi­ca­tion projects were de­ferred on the Great Western Pro­gramme in au­tumn 2016 in or­der to ad­dress cost pres­sures within the cur­rent rail in­vest­ment pe­riod cov­er­ing 201419, and to bring for­ward de­liv­ery of in­fra­struc­ture that will al­low pas­sen­gers to ben­e­fit from fur­ther ser­vice im­prove­ments.”

May­nard con­cluded: “Network Rail is de­liv­er­ing the Great Western elec­tri­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme to the re­vised sched­ule set out in the Hendy Re­view.”

The project was planned to cost £800 mil­lion, but has risen to £2.8 bil­lion. It is de­layed, and the Na­tional Au­dit Of­fice sug­gested re­cently that the costs could rise still fur­ther ( RAIL 822).

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