The first train at Dore & Totley's new platform came through in late March. Credit: via Network Rail

£150m Hope Valley Railway upgrade completes

Journeys between Manchester Piccadilly and Sheffield should be speedier and more reliable, with two notorious bottlenecks removed and an additional platform installed at Dore & Totley station.

Carlisle-based Story Contracting and Doncaster-headquartered Volker Rail delivered the £150m Hope Valley Railway upgrade for Network Rail through a joint venture – StoryVolker. The project, which began in spring 2021, has take three years to complete.

In addition to introducing a second, accessible platform at Dore & Tortley station, the upgrade’s to-do list has included a series of signalling improvements, an overbridge at Hathersage West, an additional track south of Dore & Tortley station, and a .62-mile railway loop between Bamford and Hathersage.

The railway loop and the additional track are meant to tackle two bottlenecks on the train line, allowing faster trains to overtake slower ones.

Dore & Tortley’s first platform also received an extension, enabling it to cater to six-carriage trains.

James Goldsby, project director from VolkerRailStory, described the completion of the project as “an amazing achievement”.

“The work undertaken will now remove several bottlenecks for train operating companies between Manchester and Sheffield, providing passengers with a much improved service,” Goldsby continued.

Rail minister Huw Merriman stopped by Sheffield on Monday to celebrate the finishing of the programme of works.

“I am delighted to be in Sheffield today to mark the completion of the Hope Valley Railway Upgrade – another project delivered which demonstrates our continued commitment to improving transport in the North of England,” Merriman said.

He added later: “The upgrade is just one of hundreds we’re delivering, with more to come as part of our Network North plan made possible by reallocated HS2 funding – carrying out even further upgrades on this vital line, including electrification, to cut journey times, and improve capacity for thousands of passengers.”

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