The assistant director of a campaign group for better rail infrastructure in Cumbria said that investment can be spread outside of London into their regions. 

Today marked the launch of Crossrail, which had a budget of £18.8billion. The services will further extend London's world-class transport network.

Meanwhile Cumbria has only received small amounts of investment into its rail network over the years, and even the extension to HS2 which would have ran to Leeds was scrapped at the end of last year.

"Cumbria is seen as a place that is not viable by rail" said Dick Smith, Assistant Director for Lakes Line campaign group.

"Because there is only one train on the line between Oxenholme and Windermere, people are often waiting up to fifty minutes at Oxenholme to then get a train on the West Coast Mainline. This means that people drive despite the line existing." 

Lakes Line are working with Cumbria County Council to find the funding for two major improvements to the line. This will be through a business case submitted to the Treasury.


One would be to put in a passing loop which would cost between £10-12million. This would mean that two trains could run on the line every hour, boosting capactiy and cutting wait times. 

The other proposal would be to electrify the line from Oxenholme to Windermere, which would mean that trains running from Manchester Airport would be on a fully electrified line. 

According to Mr. Smith, this would make the trains quieter and more efficient, as well as having environmental benefits. 

Mr. Smith argued that investment is needed in the region for national projects such as HS2 to have a benefit:

"If HS2 goes forward we will need investment on the West Coast Main Line. One of the benefits of HS2 is to increase freight trains on other lines.

However this will only hold up people more if they are stuck on their connecting service from or to HS2 behind a freight train." 

MP Tim Farron has previously criticised the government for not going far enough in their 'Levelling Up' plans for rail in the north.