One of Britain’s biggest rail projects – the TransPennine Route Upgrade which connects Huddersfield with Manchester and York – has received a £3.9 billion funding boost from the Government.
Rail Minister Huw Merriman visited Ravensthorpe, near Dewsbury, where a new station is being built.
The latest funding announcement takes the total funding of the electrification project to £6.9bn and will allow for works taking place across the route as the journey to deliver more frequent, faster trains running on a cleaner, greener and more reliable railway continues.
Speaking in Ravensthorpe, Mr 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.”
The funding will be used to double the number of tracks from two to four between Huddersfield and Ravensthorpe, meaning faster trains can overtake slower stopping services and additional freight.
Upgrades to the trains that operate along the route are in place as the need for them to be suited to modernised tracks ramps up. TransPennine Express are set to receive 29 new trains to replace their existing diesel fleet, whilst Northern await new trains for their local stopping services.
Rob Warnes, strategic development director for Northern, said: “We are really pleased to hear this announcement for the next phase of funding for the TransPennine Route Upgrade.
“The work taking place here at Ravensthorpe will improve not only the speeds that our trains can run through the area but also the number of trains we’ll be able to provide in the future.
“The successful delivery of the TRU programme is crucial for boosting the economy of the North, with faster, greener and more frequent trains the key to connecting people with better employment, education and leisure opportunities.”
The TransPennine Route Upgrade will bring 76 miles of fully electric, digital railway with six fast trains every hour between Leeds and Manchester. The journey between Manchester and Leeds is expected to take 41-42 minutes.
Slaithwaite, Marsden, Deighton and Mirfield railway stations are among those to be made fully accessible. Huddersfield Railway Station is to undergo a full internal modernisation.
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