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The funds will also be spent on working with manufacturers to secure up to 29 new trains to replace outdated ones currently being used.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

Your Comments

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That’s all very well, but it needs to be a full upgrade of the Liverpool – Hull line; to mimic the M62.

By 1981

Save 10 minutes between Manchester and York ? Whoopdedoo. Sunak you legend. This will definitely make up for HS2 to the north being cancelled and all of proposed funding disappearing with it. I for one am appeased..and also appalled.

By Anonymous

This country needs to introduce German S-Bahn (London Overground) style systems in every city. This would have such a big affect on the way people can get around their cities and boost the economy drastically on already existing infrastructure. How Manchester and Leeds for example don’t already have this is beyond me.

By Quail

Great News for the Ale Trail

By Camra shy

11.5 billion!?
Why it costing so much?? It’s only an upgrade.
How much would and entirely new line cost?

Crossrail was what, about 19 billion, through the centre of London?!

By Anonymous

Ten minutes off the journey times between Manchester and York. I can hardly contain myself.

By Elephant

So reinstating funding for a provision, that they took away in 2019? I’ll wait til it’s operating.

By Albert

Mr and Ms Quail: Yes, German S-Bahns run every 20 minutes from 0530 to 1230 from city centers to towns about 20 kms outside. But the UK is cleverer and does not waste private tax money on public services. A 1 kilometer tunnel joining Piccadilly and Victoria would create a cross-Mcr network; but think of the cost; we are not China.

By Anonymous

An electric railway with space for 4 tracks already runs from Mcr to Hadfield and stops before the Woodhead Tunnel. Reopen these routes to Sheffield and Barnsley for South Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire linking massive metropolitan areas. Don’t go by car because it has snowed and roads over the moors will be closed. Third-world stuff ! No money? Borrow to invest. It’s called capitalism.

By Anonymous

all those billions and for a 10 minute saving. None of the benefits HS2 and NPR would have achieved! Thanks Tories


More importantly Liverpool to Hull HS3

By Anonymous

11.5 Billion ??????????????????? hmmmmmm

By Anonymous

The lack of ambition baked into these proposals is a tragedy.

By Anonymous

How about some announcements to electrify North Wales and the coastal route, including the double-tracking of the Halton Curve so folks can travel to see families in Liverpool with more frequency, and access Liverpool Airport more conveniently.

By Anonymous

Please no, what about the environmental impact?

By Gilly

@anonymous 12:49 – a lot more scope, a lot of bridges on the route need rebuilding to be wider and taller, a lot of the north has mineshafts and mineworks that need mitigating near trackside. All Network rail embankments need to be 1:2 gradient or engineered in stability, it all adds up,


‘Please no, what about the environmental impact?’

Like building lots of roads?

By Rye&Eggs

Did I read that right or was that a typo? ‘ The completion of the work ordered through this £3.9bn investment is estimated to be in the mid-2030s’. Why does everything take so long in our country….I despair!

By Manc Man

The cleverness of the UK compared to Germany is probably best exemplified by the 18% productivity gap between the UK and Germany. Us cleverer Brits obviously don’t want to waste tax payers money on silly things like growth.

By Local Interest

@Ry&Eggs yes, like roads, we shouldn’t be encouraging rail, there’s a climate crisis

By Gilly

@December 05, 2023 at 1:29 pm
By Gilly

Ah but trains are overall greener – less oil or rare earth materials used compared to cars.

Or we could just walk or cycle everywhere. Now that would be greener.

By Rye&Eggs

Anyone saying we shouldn’t build roads or rail is just being silly. Stop being silly.

By Sillybilly

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