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.