Electric trains will bring line up to date
MAKE no mistake the electrification of the railway line from Bristol to London is hugely significant. And although it was first announced under the previous Labour government the confirmation by Network Rail that it is to go ahead is very good news.
In railway terms this part of the country, which had once boasted the most efficient and go-ahead railway, has in recent generations languished behind the rest of the nation.
When the overheard wires reach Bristol in six years' time it will bring this part of the Great Western line up to date.
As it stands it is the only main line out of London still waiting to be electrified.
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Electrification will bring major benefits – new trains that will be faster, have greater acceleration, be quieter, and virtually pollution free.
Cities like Birmingham and Manchester were electrified around 50 years ago.
But Bristol has been left as the poor relation, forced to rely on High Speed Diesel trains which are now into their fourth decade of operation.
Electrification will bring this route up to date and will be the most important development since Brunel completed the line to Bristol in 1841.
But we could be forgiven for asking why it has taken so long.