This seems to be a great headline grabber, but in reality will only manage a few miles of track. Much of the media has touted the Preston and Wyre lines, maybe up to Fleetwood, or Ashington in Co Durham.
If it happens it may be factually correct, but only as part of a more strategic plan to enhance rail capacity.
Remaining questions would be: who and how will routes be selected for re-opening? Which stations? Will it be electrified? Will it bring more freight onto rail?
If the latter, then additional freight facilities will be needed.
I’m not sure £500 million represents anything other than a gimmick. It needs to be followed up with more extensive and expansive proposals.
Will this funded being taken away from HS2?
We won’t be holding our breath on this one.