Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has today (9 December 2013) toured the country to see how the government’s multi-billion pound rail investment is helping boost local economies, create jobs and improve rail services.
The Department for Transport has committed more than £38 billion for Network Rail to run and improve the network between 2014 and 2019, while landmark projects like Crossrail are providing significant business opportunities for companies across the UK.
Starting the tour at Derby station, the Transport Secretary met with officials from East Midlands Trains to officially launch faster journey times between Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Nottingham, East Midlands Parkway, Loughborough, Leicester and London. This has been made possible through a £70 million investment programme, delivered by the network operator Network Rail in partnership with the train operating company.
Shortly after, he visited Laing O’Rourke’s state-of-the-art factory in Steetley in the East Midlands where the company is building Crossrail’s new Custom House station. Large sections of the station will be built at the factory before being transported more than 130 miles to East London and assembled on site, saving time, money and minimising the disruption to local residents.
The work is a further example of the positive impact the £14.8 billion landmark project is having on the UK supply chain. It is estimated the scheme will generate around 75,000 business opportunities and support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs around the UK.
He then went on to South Yorkshire where he officially opened a new state-of-the-art sleeper factory in Doncaster. The Doncaster Concrete Sleeper Factory will employ around 45 people and help supply around 400,000 concrete sleepers for use on the network each year.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
The government recognises the importance of a thriving rail industry to passengers and local economies and that is why we are investing record amounts to transform the network.
Service improvements like those made by East Midlands Trains are excellent news for passengers, providing quicker and more reliable journeys on the Midland Main Line route to London.
Meanwhile, landmark projects like Crossrail are providing thousands of business opportunities across the country and with those come thousands of jobs.