I was at the launch of Network Rail's consultation process on the Northern Hub at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Launching the process,Graham Botham, Network Rail's Northern Hub boss told the audience that it was not a typical transport scheme,but was about the economy and what will make it grow.
Part of the scheme is already funded,the redevelopment of Manchester Victoria,the electrification of four separate lines and the Ordsall link
Botham told the press that more people are travelling into Manchester on the rail network than at any time since the second world war and investment in the network was needed to keep the North moving
New overtaking routes,speeding up lines and opening up the capacity for trains to travel through Manchester
The scheme is fully funded by the government would see 700 more trains a day,space for more than 44m people to travel by train each year,a £4.2bn boost to the northern economy and the creation of between 20,000-30000 additional jobs
For every pound spent on the scheme,four pounds would be generated by the economy.
Network rail is launching the consultation today across the NW.With the funding already in place,work could commence on in 2014 and will be operational by 2016
Victoria Station,once voted amongst the worst in the country will be transformed into a light,open safe interchange, with new shops and space for commercial premises.
Plans include a new roof and planning applications will be put in next March with work expected to start at the end of 2012.
As for electrification,so far only 40 per cent of the country’s railways are electrified.Over 300km of the NW’s tracks will be electrified in 4 phases to 2016
Manchester to Newton le willows
Newton to Liverpool
Huyton to Wigan
Preston to Blackpool
Victoria to Preston
In addition but awaiting further treasury funding are three to four additional platforms at Piccadilly station connecting to Oxford Road,and work on overtaking routes on the Sheffield and Marple lines.
The public can take a look at the plans for themselves at the following locations.
There are more details on the Northern Hub website and you can view a short video at You Tube