Rail Minister Wendy Morton has praised the new £161m upgrade to Leeds station which will transform rail journeys across Yorkshire.
The Minister is set to visit the station today to meet with former apprentices and Network Rail staff who have helped deliver the upgrades to the Transpennine Route.
New tracks and longer platforms are included in the £161m upgrade which will provide passengers with more seats, services and more punctual journeys.
A new concourse and Platform 0 were also delivered as part of the upgrades.
The Leeds station upgrade forms part of the Government’s £96bn Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) aimed at transforming rail connections in the North and Midlands.
Speaking on the upgrade Rail Minister Wendy Morton said: “Leeds station is a major hub right at the heart of the North.
“[Leeds is] not only a gateway to one of the UK’s most vibrant and lively cities but a vital transport link.
“Enabling people from all over the country to travel for work, pleasure and connect with friends and family.
“These upgrades are a huge milestone… building upon our unprecedented IRP.
“Delivering a modern, fully connected transport hub fit for the future quicker than under previous plans.”
Passengers are set to see improvements to journey times much sooner than under previous plans with the IRP.
Councillor James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council commented on the upgrades at Leeds station.
Cllr Lewis said: “This is an important milestone in our continued ambitions to modernise Leeds’ rail connections.
“These upgrades will improve the passenger experience.
“[The upgrades] are a first step towards beginning to address our capacity issues at Leeds station.
“We will work with the government to secure a robust strategy for ongoing enhancements to improve connectivity for Leeds that will benefit Yorkshire, the North and the UK.”
Upgrades to Leeds station were completed by engineers over the New Year break.