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Network Rail awards TransPennine route upgrade contracts

The contract for future improvement work on the TransPennine route between York and Manchester has been awarded by Network Rail to an alliance of organisations.

Design infrastructure options for the route will be completed by Amey, BAM Nuttall and Arup, and will include upgrades to civils, track, railway systems and electrification west of Leeds.

The group will work with NR on creating development proposals to be submitted to the DfT in December, as part of the Great North Rail Project.

“We are focussed on developing the potential infrastructure enhancements that will lead to faster, more frequent and more reliable train services across the north and will submit these to the DfT at the end of the year,” explained Paul McKeown, director of route sponsorship for NR’s London North Eastern and East Midlands route.

The contract follows on from the wider rail enhancements between York and Leeds – awarded in October 2014 to an alliance between VolkerRail, Murphy and Siemens.

Tim Ketteringham, West of Leeds alliance manager, commented: “The TransPennine Route Upgrade is a major programme of rail improvement that will have a real and lasting impact on people and communities in the north of England for generations to come – connecting towns and cities, improving journey times and supporting economic growth.

“I am thrilled to be part of the alliance of companies that is working together as one team to deliver this step change in rail travel.”

The upgrade is aimed at creating speedier and more reliable services in the north of England. It will also increase the frequency and length of some journeys from Newcastle, Hull and York towards Manchester and Liverpool via Leeds.

East of Leeds alliance manager, Neil Lindley, said the project would be a “key milestone” for rail services and transport development in the north of England.

He stated: “Complex multi-disciplinary projects such as this require the knowledge and diverse skillset brought through alliancing, especially in the early stages of design development.

“We look forward to working alongside the West of Leeds Alliance, TOCs, FOCs and other major stakeholders to improve transport links and provide local communities with faster and more frequent rail services; transforming the north for years to come.”

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Michae King   31/10/2017 at 10:45

Wonderful. As London loses finance jobs, real world jobs will become available up north. This type of infrastructure upgrade is really necessary. — — - Mind you as. Freeman of York I may need to sell my sheep if too much progress is made there!

Huguenot   31/10/2017 at 11:50

Electrification west of Leeds? If that's really true, then it's welcome, as electric trains would perform so much better than diesel on the Pennine gradients. But I thought that electrification east of Manchester had been called off. Clarify, somebody, please! If Manchester to Leeds really is to be electrified after all, then why not go another 19 miles to Colton Junction, then it could be electrics all the way from Liverpool to York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

100Andthirty   31/10/2017 at 12:30

Why do you publish a photo of a train for a story about infrastructure works especially as it is an entirely inappropriate train (class 350/1 in 2005 livery)? One expects better of the trade press

100Andthirty   31/10/2017 at 12:33 is a 350/4, so at least it runs "up north", even though it can't run on the trans pennine route.

Unknown   31/10/2017 at 22:14

Trains Penny great service if Scot Rail can run the lines correctly and get there act together then would be amazing service

Andrew Gwilt   02/11/2017 at 00:46

If electrification west of Leeds does happen. And also between Leeds and York. Would there be proposal to upgrade Colton Junction southwest of York with a new flyover over the ECML for trains using the North Pennine lines or a new single track northbound flyover on the ECML over the North Pennine lines. Just like what Network Rail have done to other junctions including Hitchin flyover that trains heading to Cambridge crosses over the ECML. And also at Bermondsey where a new flyover is been built to allow Thameslink trains to cross over the Sussex lines which London Bridge will soon reopen next year.

RMT   02/11/2017 at 10:49

Hmm I do wonder whom "Unknown" might be.

Andrew Gwilt   02/11/2017 at 11:06

Possibly a person who just named themselves as "Unknown". [Sorry to butt in].

John Webster   02/11/2017 at 16:48

"Increase the ........ length of some journeys" ? Surely not - I thought the object of the exercise was to REDUCE the length of some journeys! Also, why is Trans Pennine investing in diesel hauled trains and Bi-Modes?

Sandy   13/02/2018 at 12:48

Surely this is the ideal time to leapfrog catenary wires and go for hydrogen trains? This would cut out this infrastructure project which would be redundant in 20 years . We would be waiting 20 years for it to be finished anyway . Anyone on the Halifax/ Sowerby Bridge/ Littleborough etc. line would tell you that the tunnels aren't tall enough for wires, so dump the inefficient 'bimodal' smokers and go for clean Hydrogen! That would be a step change for the Northern Poorhouse.

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