The £11.5 billion TransPennine Route Upgrade is investing in talent and developing the next generation of rail leaders in the North of England by employing one apprentice for every £4 million spent on the programme.

The TransPennine Route Upgrade (TRU) employs 80% of its staff from within the local area, including 177 apprentices to date, as it electrifies the line between Manchester and York, via Huddersfield and Leeds. In total it will cost an estimated £11.5 billion, including £1.5 billion in and around Huddersfield.

Alex Marsden works on the TransPennine Route Upgrade East Alliance as an apprentice civil engineer. He said: “It’s very exciting for me being on such a high-profile project this early in my career.

“I aspire to become a chartered civil engineer in the future and this apprenticeship gives me both the qualifications and the practical experience I need to do that.’’

The TransPennine Route Upgrade will see massive changes including a doubling of the tracks between Huddersfield and Westtown, Dewsbury, and a full internal remodelling of Huddersfield Railway Station. There will be new bridges and infrastructure along the route.

Neil Holm, managing director of the TransPennine Route Upgrade, said: “Providing opportunities for local people to advance their careers in the rail industry through apprenticeships is key to the success of the TRU.

“We want to provide skills for life to every apprentice that joins our team, and I’m proud of the incredible work being done by our apprentices so far, with many more to join us as the TRU journey continues.”

The TransPennine Route Upgrade is transforming journeys across the North, better connecting towns and cities through more frequent, faster trains, running on a cleaner, greener and more reliable railway.

For more information about apprenticeships go to