The Transpennine Route Upgrade has seen the first miles of electric overheard wires installed across a Yorkshire mainline, representing the first major infrastructural development of this kind for over 25 years.
This electrification scheme is beginning along the route between York and Church Fenton, with further developments being planned in an effort to re-energise passenger rail travel across the North of England. Though improved passenger experience is paramount to the project’s goals, it also acts towards the ambitions of a more eco-friendly, fully electrified railway between York, Leeds, Huddersfield, and Manchester.
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said:
“Thanks to our £96bn Integrated Rail Plan, the biggest single investment in the UK’s rail network ever, we’re now delivering faster, cleaner, and more frequent travel for passengers across the North.
“As we level up the country, it’s critical that people across the UK have access to rail networks they can rely on. Yorkshire’s new electric railway is a key step in delivering just that.”
The environmental benefits of this infrastructure project are massive as, when the 76-mile route is fully electrified, rail passengers will help to save up to 87,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, equivalent to 5.9 million car journeys. With current government ambitions to achieve net-zero by 2050, the electrification works will function as a major decarbonisation powerhouse within the UK public transport sector. The local people surrounding the railway will also enjoy the benefits of this project as they will enjoy better air quality and will endure less noise disruption through quitter trains.
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.”
The first ten miles of wiring between Church Fenton and Colton Junction is set to be completed by the end of 2022, seeing a major boost to one of the busiest stretches of railway in the north, with over 100 trains passing through each day.
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