Rail 'M25' for London

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The Independent Online
IT SOUNDS like the ultimate pipe dream. An orbital London railway costing one-tenth as much as the Jubilee Line extension.

By linking up existing rail lines it would be possible to create an "M25 for trains". All the track exists - except for a one-mile stretch in east London - and most of the estimated pounds 350m would be spent on upgrading track and signalling.

The idea, promoted by environmental pressure group Transport 2000 and being studied by the Government and industry, could be repeated across the country and boost the Government's ambition of tempting motorists out of their cars and onto public transport.

Trains would run at least every 15 minutes on existing lines owned by Railtrack and London Underground. It would also link almost every overground and Tube line currently running into the capital.

The Government backed the idea in principle last year when it launched the Transport White Paper. The Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions said it was awaiting a report from London Transport.

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