Dan Munford, Chairman of the I Want a Referendum Campaign in Wales, pays tribute to Owen Paterson's campaign for a new train service.
America’s next first lady famously nearly ended her husband’s Presidential campaign with the truth that his popularity made her, for the first time in her adult life, proud to be an American. Not much has engendered the same British emotions in me in recent years. But, thanks to the campaign of one Conservative MP, there may now be light at the end of the tunnel.
Owen Paterson may not have created his own personal railway but he must certainly take much credit for a small, independent new “Wrexham & Shropshire” line train service that has appeared, like a ghost train in a Thomas the Tank story, to spirit Mid Wales business folk to London direct.
Spain may now have 190 mph trains but Britain has always been bad at big. We tend to cock it up. Even Branson’s American-like corporate magic doesn’t quite make it on the tracks. I have memories of waving goodbye to two generations of Munford business traveller from Shropshire stations. But the lines grew rusty, the direct services were cut and the only rail way to London was through a hell of missed connections in the Midlands.