Phase I of the West Coast Upgrade would be delivered
by May 2003. This would provide a 125 mph railway together with
tilting train operation and the agreed nine paths per hour.
Phase II would be descoped to maintain the agreed
eleven paths per hour, but at 125 instead of 140 mph.
140 mph would be deferred, with limited 140
mph operation being introduced when the deferred infrastructure
schemes were finally introduced.
This would require VRG to purchase, maintain
and crew up to nine additional Pendolino sets at a purchase cost
of £100 million by 2004.
The planned increase in train frequency is needed
to provide additional seats for the planned growth in passengers
and the Agreement would bring the eleven paths per hour forward
from 2005 to 2004.
This would provide four trains an hour between
London and Birmingham from October 2004.
Typical journey times would be London to Manchester
in 2 hours 05 minutes in May 2003 and 2 hours 00 minutes in October
VRG has offered to divert two of the eleven
fast line paths via Northampton from 2004 to release capacity
on the "slow lines" for Freight and Commuter services.
A package of further cost effective investments
for Government and SRA to consider.