Emerging Vision HIGH
The route includes significant upgrades between Manchester and Sheffield

Region calls for Govt buy-in for Northern Powerhouse Rail

Dan Whelan

Transport for the North has urged Whitehall to back the “future-defining” project, which includes plans for a new line between Manchester and Liverpool. 

The transport lobby group said the Government should “commit to the full, transformational vision for both Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2…that will define the North’s economic future for the rest of this century, boosting jobs and growth”.

Transport for the North has formally lodged its proposals for the project, aimed at levelling up the North and improving east-to-west rail connectivity, having outlined its preferred route last November. 

The route would dovetail with High Speed 2, with shared track, stations and junctions in parts, to slash journey times between the cities of the North. 

Proposals for Northern Powerhouse Rail, drawn up by Transport for the North and the Department for Transport, include:  

  • Construction of a line from Liverpool to Manchester via the centre of Warrington  
  • Construction of a line from Manchester to Leeds via the centre of Bradford  
  • Significant upgrades and journey time improvements to the Hope Valley route between Manchester and Sheffield  
  • Connecting Sheffield to HS2 and on to Leeds  
  • Upgrades and electrification of the rail lines from Leeds and Sheffield to Hull  
  • Upgrades of the East Coast Mainline from Leeds to Newcastle, via York and Darlington, and restoration of the Leamside line 
Tim Wood TfN

Tim Wood urged Government to back TfN’s plans

Once delivered, the network is predicted to contribute £14.4bn to the UK economy by 2060, according to Transport for the North. 

Leaders across the North have asked the Government to be ambitious and back the proposals when it publishes its rail investment plan for the region later this month. 

The Integrated Rail Plan is expected to set out the long-term investment plans for the North’s rail upgrades as well as details on how the projects will be delivered. 

Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse Rail director at Transport for the North, said: “This is the culmination of years of work on the original Northern Powerhouse vision to radically connect the North’s communities by rail, create jobs, and boost the Northern economy for decades to come.”

He added: “We hope that the significant body of evidence worked up alongside the Department for Transport, will be reflected in an ambitious commitment to investment in the North in the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan.

“We can then swiftly press on with joint delivery for the Northern public. We’ve done the work together, now let’s get on and deliver for the North together.”

A business case for the project is to be submitted after the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan has been published.

Under the proposed phasing plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail, construction is aimed to begin by the mid-2020s.

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In my opinion the M’cr >>Leeds new line is key to all the future rail projects in the North. I hope that it is the same proposal that includes a station/stop at Rochdale/Oldham, next to the M62. Ideally it should be 70/80% tunneled and journey time between the 2 cities should be 20 minutes. That 30/35 mile tack will be the spine of northern rail transport. It should connect, underground in Piccadilly to the HS2 line from London. Ideally work on HS2 should of started in M’cr at the same time as the work in the South East..

By Robert Fuller

Via Central Warrington, so maybe through Stretford?, I should hope there’s a further stop/station or two..

By Robert Fuller

‘Northern’ powerhouse rail that seems to forget about most of Lancashire and South Cumbria.

By Katie

The last thing we need is another train stopping everywhere. Can we not just have a train which runs between Liverpool, Warrington and Manchester? If you want to go to St Helens or Wigan, use existing lines.

By Elephant

From what I can see they are missing a trick of making the line more like cross rail (London)so a number of stops in each city. You then sell the station to a developer to build housing and retail above the stations. This has been done successfully in other cities globally. This would really connect the cities so they can compete with London

By Michael Aldridge

It is expected that the recently published TfN/DfT plans will form part of the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan to be published in March.

By Clive Broadhead

As others have mentioned, you can’t have fast journey times between key cities if the train stops at every high street. It’s either a fast intercity train or a local stopper. Unfortunately Stretford isn’t a major city in its own right.

By Mancunian

Complete waste of money

By Floyd

This should have happened well before any HS2 work ever started. A properly linked up Northern Powerhouse with Manchester at its heart would be a great counterweight to London. It will happen though.

By John P