UK: Electric Train Tested between Manchester and Stalybridge

An electric train has completed a test run between Manchester and Stalybridge for the first time as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU).

This achievement follows work completed last year to install overhead line electrification (OLE) between Manchester Victoria, Stalybridge and Guide Bridge stations. In addition, track was replaced to enable faster speeds, 25 new signals were installed for closer spacing of trains and a higher-speed railway junction was introduced at Stalybridge.

Engineers have now been testing the new electrification equipment installed along the route. This is part of the multi-billion-pound upgrade to the line between Manchester and York, via Huddersfield and Leeds.

Stalybridge Test Train
Stalybridge Test Train

The Northern Class 331 test train was dispatched from Blackpool North and arrived at Manchester Piccadilly just before 12:00. It then travelled between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge station during the testing period.

Neil Holm, Managing Director of TRU said:

“This is a big achievement in our plans to bring cleaner, faster and better travel to the people of the North of England.

“People can see that TRU is very much in the delivery phase now and the benefits of all our teams’ hard work is starting to show. I would like to thank passengers and local residents who have supported us throughout the ongoing work.”

Electric trains are scheduled to commence operations between Manchester and Stalybridge from the end of 2024 to deliver faster, more reliable and more sustainable journeys.

This will be the first section of line to be electrified as part of the Tranpennine Route Upgrade. The remainder of the route between Manchester and York is then set to be electrified in the future.

Meanwhile, TRU is also delivering station improvements along the route to enhance the customer experience, and a new digital signalling system will be installed to improve reliability.

In addition, the number of tracks between Huddersfield and Dewsbury will be doubled to allow for greater capacity.

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