On 15th June 2009, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) published the Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network report. It identified potential opportunities to expand the rail network in England through the restoration of railway lines and stations.
The report identified 14 schemes across England where lines and stations would need to be restored. A fifteenth project connecting Portishead was identified as a further scheme for consideration because of specific factors that were expected to increase the BCR above the threshold. A further seven railway stations that could be opened on existing railway lines as Park and Ride stations were also highlighted as commercially viable. Finally, sixteen link lines were also identified as potential options to develop the railway network and provide new journey opportunities. The report focused on low cost schemes where projects could be delivered within the next six years and encouraged relevant authorities to take them forward.
The report focused on England because rail development was looked after by Transport Scotland and the Welsh Assembly in Scotland and Wales respectively.
This blog will focus on the Connecting Communities report during June where it will look into the projects that the report promoted and how they have progressed. Some of the proposals are now under construction and others are serious contenders for reopening over the next few years.