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Press Release 19 January 2004
CAST.IRON welcomes government's 'new thinking' on railways
Bosses at the Cambridge And St Ives Railway Organisation have welcomed the government's review of the national rail system. Chairman Tim Phillips told us, "This is a real opportunity to get some joined up thinking on the railways and it is very good news for the St Ives line".
The government is rumoured to be proposing closer integration of train operators and infrastucture management, known in the industry as "the link between wheel and rail".
CAST.IRON's executive rail industry officer, Jerry Alderson, is optimistic. "We can run trains on our line without reference to the Strategic Rail Authority as a micro-franchise. Any move towards streamlining the management of the British railway system is another reason to reopen the St. Ives line and connect it to the national network and Cambridge and Huntingdon".
CAST.IRON's plans to reopen the line under a micro-franchise are costed at £30 million for construction, legal and contingency costs. In addition, car parking and other facilities will have to be provided.
Mr Phillips has no doubt that CAST.IRON represents exactly what the government's review will see as the way forward for the railways.
"We have a plan that will provide what 97% of people want for less than half of the cost of the guided bus scheme. The train operators and other key industry players already support us, with the noteable exception of the Strategic Rail Authority.
It is clear that the guided bus is neither strategic nor rail so we look forward to the government supporting rail on the line once the review is complete"
END OF PRESS RELEASE
EDITORS' NOTES ABOUT THIS PRESS RELEASE
In response to Transport Secretary Alistair Darling's statement to MP's in the House of Commons on Monday 19th January 2004
CAST.IRON will restore regular timetabled rail services to the dormant Cambridge to St. Ives railway line, creating Britain's first community commuter railway.
A train last traversed The Cambridge to St Ives Railway Line in 1992. Up to Fen Drayton, the rails are still in place and, subject to bringing the railway line up to modern operating standards, a rail service could begin in just two years.
The response to CAST.IRON so far has been 100% in favour of the rail option.
Details and full costings of CAST.IRON's plans were made public for the first time at a public meeting on 2nd December at the Holiday Inn, Impington, Cambridge and are now available by visiting www.castiron.org.uk/VisionDoc.php.
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