The modernisation of the West Coast Main Line: thirtieth report of session 2006-07, report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence

When Railtrack first planned the upgrade of the West Coast Mainline it was to have been completed in two phases in 2002 and 2005, used untried signalling technology and cost £2.6 billion. In the event the signalling was not installed, progress was much slower than anticipated and Railtrack collapsed. Network rail took over the project and put in place a more robust strategy to deliver the upgrade in three stages between 2004 and 2008. The first two stages have already been delivered on schedule. However the total modernisation cost is likely to be around £8.6 billion and the line will still be prone to overcrowding at peak times and is thus likely to need further investment. This report looks at the project on the basis of a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

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