Cash boost to accelerate Transpennine Route Upgrade work

Grant Prior 3 months ago
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The government has agreed a £3.9bn funding boost to accelerate rail construction work on the Transpennine Route Upgrade project.

Artist's impression of new Ravensthorpe viaduct. Copyright Network Rail
Artist's impression of new Ravensthorpe viaduct. Copyright Network Rail

Once complete, the full route will offer significantly improved services on the route between Manchester-Huddersfield-Leeds-York with rail users benefiting from a fully-electrified line, accessible stations and more frequent services.

Work is already well underway on the project and today’s announcement means government has invested a total of £6.9bn into the upgrade, with the initial £3 billion funding work to deliver early benefits by the middle of the decade such as the electrification of tracks.

The total project cost is currently estimated at £11.5 billion with a completion date of the mid 2030s.

Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “The Transpennine Route Upgrade represents the first major step in delivering transformed east-west connectivity in the north and I’m delighted to announce this multi-billion-pound funding boost to move to the next stage of delivery.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates this government’s commitment to delivering its Network North plan which will improve journeys, help to level up regions and grow the economy.”

The latest funding will be invested in doubling the number of tracks from 2 to 4 between Huddersfield and Ravensthorpe, allowing faster trains to overtake slower stopping services and freight journeys.

Once complete in the mid-2030s, the upgrade will offer up to 8 trains per hour, hundreds of extra seats and cut journey times between Manchester and York by 10 minutes.

Neil Holm, Managing Director for the Transpennine Route Upgrade, said: “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.”

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

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