Cornwall to benefit from £146.6m rail investment package

The UK government has announced that £146.6 million is to be  Cornwall’s rail network including a substantial upgrade to sleeper services.

Tourism is at the ‘core’ of the investment, the Department for Transport (DfT) said in a statement. The deal will see the interior of the Night Riviera Sleeper between Penzance and London overhauled and the Long Rock train maintenance site at Penzance expanded to maintain the sleeper cars.

Signalling improvements between Penzance and Totnes will also be delivered five years earlier than planned, reducing journey times on the Cornish main line.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Ensuring that we have first class infrastructure across Britain is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and provide a brighter future for hardworking people.

“This investment, which will boost the local economy and improve connectivity, is great news for Cornwall, the South West and beyond.”

The package includes £9m of funding from the Department for Transport (DfT), £29.6m secured through Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), £103.5m from Network Rail and £4.5m from train operator First Great Western.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Rail travel in Cornwall is growing rapidly, and investing in the rail network here is crucial to securing long-term economic growth. These improvements will safeguard and create jobs, improve services for millions of passengers and provide better access to the South West of England.

“This is great news for Cornwall and for the wider economy as a whole.”