Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has told Network Rail to “progress with some urgency” work on the two electrification schemes he dramatically halted earlier this summer.
He wrote to Network Rail chairman Peter Hendy giving the green light for upgrades of the TransPennine and Midland Mainline to be “un-paused with immediate effect”.
McLoughlin suspended work on the schemes in June amid concerns that Network Rail was failing to deliver projects in its mammoth Control Period 5 spending programme to time and to budget.
The transport secretary asked Hendy to provide a report on the enhancements programme by the autumn.
Hendy last week wrote to McLoughlin saying that although his report was not complete, the two paused schemes could start again.
McLoughlin wrote back: “As these two important electrification schemes will connect our great cities with modern, faster and more reliable railways and help create a Northern Powerhouse,
I would be grateful if they could be un-paused with immediate effect.”
In July, McLoughlin admitted that he did not have a clear idea how much Network Rail’s enhancement programme was running over budget.
The Conservative Party Conference starts in Manchester on Sunday.