The Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) has received a significant funding boost of £3.9 billion, accelerating work on the project and bringing major benefits to passengers and freight in the North of England.
The funding injection was announced by Rail Minister Huw Merriman and will be used to double the number of tracks between Huddersfield and Ravensthorpe, allowing faster trains to overtake slower stopping services and freight journeys. Once complete in the mid-2030s, the upgrade will offer up to 8 trains per hour, hundreds of extra seats and cut journey times between Manchester and York by 10 minutes.
Rail minister Huw 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.”
The investment will also support digital signalling along the route to allow trains to run closer together, leading to more frequent and reliable services. It will support TransPennine Express in engaging with manufacturers on options for up to 29 new trains to replace the existing diesel fleet, in addition to new trains for local stopping services operated by Northern, ensuring trains along the line are suited to the modernised tracks.
Neil Holm, managing director for the Transpennine Route Upgrade commented: “This commitment by the government to our programme allows us to move two of our largest projects from design into construction and delivery. It brings us one big step closer to delivering the future of rail travel in the North of England.”
Darren Oldham, Transport for the North’s director of Rail and Road added: “This is a major milestone for the TRU project as it upgrades a key rail corridor across the North, bringing improvements for passengers and extra capacity for freight.
“TfN has been working with partners for some years to bring forward these benefits, which will lay the foundations for further transformational development from Northern Powerhouse Rail.”
The funding boost will help the delayed project and add to the multi-billion-pound investment already committed to the upgrade which aims to double the number of tracks, electrify the line and improve the stations.
Photo Credit: iStock