Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (29th February 2012) said that the news that the Department of Transport has announced news of a new order for trains for the Trans-Pennine Rail service ‘shows the crucial importance of getting rail links into Middlesbrough electrified.”
The Department for Transport have announced that forty new carriages of electrified class 350 stock will be delivered by builder, Siemens, to Trans-Pennine Express by December next year. They will be earmarked exclusively for electrified services from Manchester to the West of Scotland.
Tom said “This decision makes it clear that in future the emphasis will be on buying electrified trains. This means that areas – like Teesside – which are only served by older diesel units will be further disadvantaged and effectively left in the sidings when it comes to modern transport links.
The Department for Transport has said that it will be looking at possible electrification of the line from the main line at Northallerton to Middlesbrough, but this is simply a desk study, and without proper input from local businesses and local agencies it may well end up parked in a dusty filing cabinet in the DFT’s London offices. It is crucial this study is carried out properly and in collaboration with local interests, and today’s news simply reinforces this simple point.”