Vital rail infrastructure in the North of England will be upgraded this summer to support the delivery of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) programme.
The work will form as one part of the jigsaw within TRU’s wider goal to deliver sought-after improvements along the full 76-mile Transpennine route, stretching from York to Manchester, via Leeds and Huddersfield.
It will take place east of Manchester Victoria station, closing the lines towards Stalybridge and Rochdale, with a 16-day railway closure between these destinations from the 31st of July until the 16th of August 2021.
Throughout the 16-day closure, hundreds of railway workers will be working around the clock to renew key sections of track, including around Miles Platting, and upgrading railway bridges to improve reliability.
Although, travel between these destinations will still be possible, either by train diversion or other transport such as buses to keep passengers moving.
For instance, passengers travelling between Bradford and Manchester on the Calder Valley line will need to transfer onto a bus for the portion of the journey between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “This rail route forms a vital link across the North, connecting cities and ports and supporting the regional and national economy. Leaders from across the North have been calling for improved connectivity for many years through High-Speed Rail, Northern Powerhouse Rail and improved Transpennine connections.
“We welcome this work which should be seen as just the start of a transformational investment in rail across the North, supporting the Government’s levelling up agenda and ensuring we build back better from the pandemic. We will be working closely with both Network Rail and the train and freight operators to ensure, as this vital work progresses, passengers, business and communities are properly provided for and disruption is minimised wherever possible.”
Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “The Transpennine Route Upgrade is a transformative, long-term project supporting economic growth in the North at a vital time and delivering real benefits for passengers and communities.”
Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson MP, said: “The Transpennine Upgrade is at the heart of our commitment to improving rail journeys for passengers across the North, focused on significantly improving reliability and punctuality. As we build back better from Covid-19, boosting capacity and journey times, we will work with local partners to keep disruption throughout these vital upgrades to a minimum.”
Images: Network Rail