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Welsh government minister pushes for rail electrification

Welsh Government transport minister Carl Sargeant has used his first meeting with transport secretary Patrick McLoughin to push for the electrification of rail lines in North Wales, saying it is important for the future economic prosperity of the region.

Speaking before the meeting yesterday Sargeant said: “By working successfully with the previous secretary of state for transport we developed robust business cases for the electrification of the Great Western Main Line to Swansea, and the electrification of the Valley Lines.

“I want to see North Wales properly connected to the electrified rail network around Liverpool, which has the potential to bring benefits to the economy of the region and rail services.”

“Sargeant added that electrifying the network in North Wales could be timed to take advantage of Network Rail’s existing plans for investing in signalling and renewals and “could be considered as part of the next West Coast franchise”.

The Welsh minister also stated his support for the recently announced investigation into the franchise letting process, saying that any lessons learnt could be applied to the letting of the Wales and Borders Franchise in 2018.

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