Network Rail: It’s time to renew East Coast Main Line

Network Rail’s route managing director for the East Coast Main Line has said it’s time for the line to be revitalised.

Speaking at ECMA’s Westminster event Rob McIntosh, Route Director for the London North Eastern and East Midlands route, said it was important money was invested to replace equipment on the East Coast Main Line that had reached the “end of its design life”.

“Our maintenance backlog is currently the lowest it has ever been, but since the overhead wires were installed on the route – predominantly in the 1980s – passenger numbers have more than doubled and the strain on the infrastructure is unfortunately starting to have an increasingly noticeable impact on passenger journeys,” he said.

“Our maintenance is more effective than it has ever been but there comes a point when performance levels are not attainable through maintenance and targeted renewals only.”

Mr McIntosh compared investment in the East Coast Main Line and the West Coast Main Line over the last two control periods and said the western line had received almost double the investment.

He said Network Rail is developing a proposition for a comprehensive ECML programme to improve performance and capacity levels.