April 02, 2004

West Coast Route Modernisation (WCRM)

The project begun in the mid-1990s to renew and upgrade the West Coast Main Line. There were three parts to it: the Core Investment Programme (CIP), which was effectively a rebuilding of the entire route; Passenger Upgrade 1 (PUG1), to allow 125mph operation (previously the top speed had been 110mph) and Passenger Upgrade 2 (PUG2) to allow 140mph operation south of Manchester (I think).

The project's original budget was 2.3bn. This was dependent on the use of moving block signalling, a hitherto non-existent technology. When it was discovered that this was not going to work estimates of the cost of the work soared. At the time of writing they are in the region of 10bn.

Update 23/08/04

The 140mph top speed was reduced to 125mph in 2002.

Update 26/08/04

Extended Guardian article on the subject here.
It seems that it has finally been completed and has ended up costing "only" 7.6bn.

Patrick Crozier | Comments (0)