There are warnings that not building a linking line between HS2 and the West Coast Main Line near Manchester will have a serious effect on future HS2 services to Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow. The Golborne Link was intended to run from Hoo Green in Cheshire to a WCML junction south of Wigan, and there has been strong local opposition to the idea. Concern about the link among engineers and others is growing after Altrincham and Sale West MP Sir Graham Brady said he had received ‘verbal assurances’ from transport secretary Grant Shapps that the Golborne section will be removed from the plans for HS2 Phase 2b to Manchester before the enabling Bill reaches the second reading stage, which is the main opportunity for Parliamentary debate.
Metropolitan Line Underground services disrupted by wheel problems
The S-stock which provides Metropolitan Line services on London Underground is undergoing urgent safety checks, and service frequencies have been reduced. It’s reported that routine inspections have uncovered what could be a wheel lathe error, because some wheels are now said to be too small, although this has yet to be confirmed by Transport for London. The S8 fleet is maintained at Neasden, and so far there have been no problems reported on the related S7 fleet, which runs on the Hammersmith & City, Circle and District Lines and is maintained at other depots. Staff have been told that Metropolitan Line services are likely to be disrupted for up to six weeks.
Network Rail spending £2m cleaning up graffiti
A budget of £2 million is being shared by Network Rail routes to pay for graffiti cleaning teams. More than 450 sites have been dealt with in south east England alone, as well as others in Bristol, the Midlands, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire. Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: ‘We have a wonderful and historic railway in Britain with engineering marvels spanning back to Victorian times, but all too often it is blighted by unsightly graffiti and vandalism which is an eyesore for our passengers and railway neighbours.’