Image Courtesy of Network Rail
It was announced that the works to electrify the TransPennine and Midland Mainline railways will restart today as part of the work to upgrade Network Rail, led by Sir Peter Hendy.
This follows the Secretary of State requesting Network Rail to restart the electrification of the tracks which was paused earlier this year. The pause has enabled a rethink of the previous plans, which focused on changing the power supply of the trains rather than the electrification of the tracks.
Network Rail are working with the Department for Transport and Rail North to electrify the TransPennine line between Stalybridge and Leeds and York and Selby. The focus will be on completing this work as rapidly as possible so that passengers may benefit.
The new plans will create more capacity between Manchester, Leeds and York and also enable shorter journey times. It will enable six fast and semi-fast trains an hour to run on the line, which will take roughly 15 minutes off the journey between the cities. It is hoped to be completed by 2022. It is intended that the whole route from Liverpool to Newcastle will be completely electrified.
Midland Mainline will also be electrified; Network Rail have restarted work on the industrial centre of the UK which will impact Bedford to Kettering and Corby, completed by 2019, and also the line North of Kettering to Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield, to be completed by 2023.
New franchises for Northern and TransPennine will be awarded in the coming months. The new franchises are to deliver new carriages, free on-board Wi-Fi, and increase capacity by one-third, with 200 more services Monday Saturday and 300 additional services on Sundays.
Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport said:
As a one nation Government we are making sure every part of Britain benefits from a growing economy. Connecting up the great cities of the North is at the heart of our plan to build a Northern Powerhouse. This Government will see the job through and build a better, faster and more reliable railway for passengers in the North and Midlands.
Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail said:
The temporary pause in the programme has given us the space to develop a better plan for passengers. People can expect more services and faster journeys. We face some difficult challenges, and there is more work still to do, but the Secretary of States decision means we can now move forward with our plans to electrify TransPennine and Midland Mainline.
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