UK: Next Phase of Transpennine Route Upgrade Gains £3.9bn in Funding

The UK’s Rail Minister, Huw Merriman has confirmed 3.9 billion GBP in funding for the next phase of the Transpennine Route Upgrade project.

This takes the project’s total funding allocation to date to 6.9 billion GBP to progress works between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York. This will enable the delivery of more frequent, fast and sustainable train services on the route.

The planned transformation of Ravensthorpe Viaduct
The planned transformation of Ravensthorpe Viaduct

Specifically, the funding will be used to double the number of tracks from two to four between Huddersfield and Ravensthorpe. This work will enable faster trains to overtake slower stopping services, and will also provide capacity for additional freight operations.

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.”

This investment will also support the installation of digital signalling along the route to allow trains to run closer together, as well as the continued electrification of the railway.

In addition, to benefit from this upgrade, the trains that operate along the route are being renewed. TransPennine Express is set to receive 29 new trains to replace its diesel fleet, whilst Northern will gain new trains for local stopping services.

Chris Jackson, Managing Director for TransPennine Express, said:

“Today’s announcement on the next tranche of funding for the Transpennine Route Upgrade is fantastic news for rail users across the North of England.

“The work that will take place will enable journey time improvements for our customers who travel across the Pennines, while also improving capacity along the route allowing us to run faster, greener and more reliable services. Not only will this be transformational for our customers, it will also be transformational for the local economies that we serve, helping grow the economy and creating local skilled jobs.”

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