UK: Yorkshire Gets First New Electric Railway in 25 Years

New electric overhead wires have been installed on a Yorkshire mainline for the first time in 25 years.

When energised, they will allow more environmentally-friendly hybrid trains to run along this section at speeds of up to 125mph – 30mph faster than is currently possible.

Yorkshire’s first new electric railway in 25 years set to cut carbon and slash journey times
Yorkshire’s first new electric railway in 25 years set to cut carbon and slash journey times

The York to Church Fenton electrification scheme is part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade, which aims to provide a fully electrified railway between York, Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester.

Work began on the York to Church Fenton electrification project back in 2019 and has included installation of 17 kilometres of new track, a 65-metre-wide under-track crossing and 270 new steel masts, which carry the overhead electric wires.

The first of ten miles of electric wiring is set to be installed by the end of the year between Church Fenton and Colton Junction.

This is where trains from Leeds join the East Coast Main Line towards York and is one of the busiest stretches of railway in the north of England.

When complete across the full 76-mile route, rail services will help save up to 87,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, which is equivalent to 5.9 million car journeys along the same route.

Rob McIntosh, Managing Director for Network Rail’s Eastern Region, said:

“This is a huge moment for the Transpennine Route Upgrade and really represents the forward shift we’ve seen in recent months.

“This first major milestone in York promises a cleaner, greener future where passengers in the north of England can confidently rely on the railway to get them to where they need to be in good time.”

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