The Department of Transport announced plans to make traveling faster between Manchester, Leeds and York. c. TransPennine Express

Govt invests £317m in Transpennine rail upgrades

Julia Hatmaker

The Department for Transport said the investment would improve the punctuality and reliability for trains going between Manchester, Leeds and York.

More than 100 trains cross the route every day, making it one of the busiest stretches of track in the region according to the department of transport. The planned works will make journeys faster by improving connectivity.

But first, it will create some delays. Services will be disrupted between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge/Rochdale between 31 July and 15 August. During that time, those travelling between Leeds and Manchester will have to arrive and depart from Manchester Piccadilly.

The service disruption will allow for intensive repairs, including refurbishing and strengthening the Dantzic Street underbridge in Manchester. Other bridges being upgraded during that time will be Queens Road in Miles Platting, Bromley Street subway, Oldham Road and Stamford Street in Ashton.

The funds will also help provide electrification between Manchester and Stalybridge, Huddersfield and Leeds, and York and Church Fenton – roughly 50% of the TransPennine rail route. The government is currently considering proposals to deliver more electrification to the Transpennine route, enabling hybrid trains to use electric power as they go.

“Additional investment into the Transpennine route upgrade will cut delays and create a more punctual network, with electrification helping deliver greener journeys on this key route,” said transport minister Andrew Stephenson. “Only by investing in, modernising and expanding our railways can we provide passengers with the reliable and resilient services they expect, and create a transport network that is fit for the future.”

The Transpennine upgrades are part of a larger £401m rail investment announcement, which includes £15m to create new stations at White Rose and Thorpe Park in Leeds and Marsh Barton in Exeter. The other £69m will go towards improving freight capacity between the Port of Southampton and the Midlands.

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association, expressed his approval of the news. “By improving connectivity for communities across the country, and continuing to enhance the rail network with intensified electrification, for example, UK rail really can support the Government’s ‘build back better’ agenda, boosting jobs, investment and economic growth for UK plc, at this critical time,” he said.

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By Elephant

….and Liverpool? A worrying trend seems to be emerging here, perhaps Mr Rotherham needs to shout a bit louder.

By Ian Reay

Just to be clear, electrification of the TransPennine route has NOT been authorised. It looks like trains will have heavy diesel engines and fuel tanks to get them over the Pennines, with electric wires west of Stalybridge and east of Leeds. What a disaster for the north, and also for the rail industry which made such a collective bodge of previous electrification schemes.

By Peter Black

Good shout on that clarification, Peter! I’ve updated the story with new information regarding the upgrade efforts, including which bits of the route are getting electrification.

By Julia Hatmaker

The decisions are potentially spelling dire news for those in less populated areas between Leeds and Manchester.

An electric network east of the Pennines, an electric network west of the Pennines… and a high speed route between the two replacing current intercity connectivity… would equal the end of rural train services.

By Jeff

Still no platform 15 and 16 then?

By Disgruntled Goat

Joke. This figure includes basic repairs. Electrify the whole line like they would manage to do in Africa.

By Dr B

Zero mention of Liverpool in these handouts, and it’s not the first time, how can levelling up be a believable strategy when the same areas get the attention.
Liverpool docks is handling bigger container ships than ever but the rail system is grossly inadequate to cope with the freight handled.
As regards passenger movement it’s Leeds and Manchester all the time getting the cash.

By Anonymous

Re: Liverpool, the name is in the title? Also, hasn’t Lime St been remodelled and isn’t the Liverpool to Manchester route already electrified?

By Anonymous