The government's scheme will increase the number of services between Manchester and York. Credit: TransPennine Express

Govt commits £3.9bn for Transpennine Route Upgrade

A total of £6.9bn has now been pledged for the £11.5bn scheme, which will see an increase in electrified lines, more accessible stations, and more frequent services between Manchester and York.

Rail minister Huw Merriment announced the £3.9bn in funding on Monday. The money will go towards doubling the number of tracks between Huddersfield and Ravensthorpe to four, which will allow faster trains to overstake slower ones. The addition of digital signalling will also allow trains to run closer together. This could enable eight trains per hour along the route, according to the government.

This will cut the journey time between Manchester and York by 10 minutes.

The funds will also be spent on working with manufacturers to secure up to 29 new trains to replace outdated ones currently being used.

The completion of the work ordered through this £3.9bn investment is estimated to be in the mid-2030s.

The additional £3.9bn joins £3bn already committed by the government, which has gone towards the electrification of the Transpennine Route track.

The Transpennine Route Upgrade will also see the accessibility improved for 15 stations:

  • Ashton-Under-Lyne
  • Stalybridge
  • Mossley
  • Greenfield
  • Marsden
  • Slaithwaite
  • Huddersfield
  • Deighton
  • Mirfield
  • Ravensthorpe
  •  Dewsbury
  • Batley
  • Morley
  • Cross Gates
  • Garforth

At the conclusion of the Transpennine Route Upgrade project, travellers between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds, and York should find quicker journeys along a more reliable service that has reduced carbon emissions.

“Transpennine Route Upgrade is well underway with building the infrastructure that bring passengers more frequent, faster, greener trains, that run on a better, cleaner and more reliable railway for generations to come,” said Neil Holm, managing director for the Transpennine Route Upgrade.

“This commitment by the government to our programme allows us to move two of our largest projects from design into construction and delivery,” Holm continued. “It brings us one big step closer to delivering the future of rail travel in the North of England.”

The investment was welcomed by Darren Oldham, Transport for the North’s director of rail and road.

Oldham said: “This is a major milestone for the TRU project as it upgrades a key rail corridor across the North, bringing improvements for passengers and extra capacity for freight.

“TfN has been working with partners for some years to bring forward these benefits, which will lay the foundations for further transformational development from Northern Powerhouse Rail,” he continued.

“We fully welcome the investment in this corridor as it will improve journey times, reliability, capability and capacity between Manchester and York via Huddersfield and Leeds. It will also reduce the pressure on the road network, particularly the M62 between West Yorkshire and Manchester.”

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