Let the north run its own powerhouse | Sarah Longlands
If it’s all too complicated for those in Westminster, they should hand over the reins
In the north of England, we know a little about trains. In 1825, when George Stephenson ran the first passenger steam locomotive along the Stockton and Darlington railway, little can he have thought that, for all his pioneering efforts, upgrading our crumbling infrastructure would prove such a national headache.
The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, has decided that electrifying the TransPennine route is too “complicated” and “difficult”; his excuse is that the Victorians have made the challenge too hard. We are supposed to believe that hanging electric cables along old rail lines is an engineering feat too far. But the truth is that the problem lies in the shortage of engineering skills (currently deployed electrifying the Great Western line) and the over-centralised system presided over by Grayling’s department and Network Rail.
Source: Guardian Transport
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