For today’s railway, the pandemic appears to have paralysed medium-term planning and implementation of essential investment. Outstanding issues are parked like lines of ballast wagons outside King’s Cross during the current platform reconstruction.
In the absence of any guidance the railway keeps running, but after months of inactivity momentum is running down wherever you look. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister seeks to add a tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland to his penchant for transport ‘grands projets’.
But in the here and now, urgent decisions are needed. Enhancements like reopening the third bore of Gasworks Tunnel in the station throat at King’s Cross and the Kettering to Market Harborough electrification are rolling on, but will soon be running down. Then what?