The people of Manchester are set to benefit from faster, cleaner and more reliable rail journeys between the city and Stalybridge, after the installation of electric wires over the recent weekend. This wiring, coming as part of the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade, represents the first step towards fully electric services by the middle of the decade.
This electrical wiring will inevitably stretch from Manchester Victoria to York, passing through Huddersfield and Leeds, bringing one of the countries key travel corridors into contemporary standards with a 70-mile stretch of a fully electric, digital railway. The further rollout of this project will see the forced closure of Stalybridge station for 26 days, in March of next year, allowing significant track and infrastructure upgrades to be conducted in a safe manner.
Representing the biggest investment to hit the Transpennine route since the 1870’s, the Transpennine Route Upgrade will bring passengers faster journeys, with forecasted journeys sitting at 63-66 minutes between Manchester and York and 41-42 minutes between Manchester and Leeds. Accompanying the transformational journey times, station upgrades will be introduced across the route, offering improved experiences and more accessibility.
Job creation within the affected regions will see a boom period also, as the workforce will be locally sourced, with 80% employment from within a 40-mile radius of the route, and 60% employment from within a 25-mile radius. There is also a commitment from Network Rail to invest back into the younger generations of rail, employing an apprentice for every £4million spent.
Whilst the social benefits of this generational upgrade project are vast, a major benefit will come from the decarbonisation of travel along the route. Network Rail currently aim to reduce their carbon footprint by 87,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, directly supporting the ambitions of the Government to achieve carbon Net-Zero.
Optimisation of the Transpennine will also see a further modal shift in the transportation of goods via rail, through the introduction of up to 15 more freight trains into daily services. Together, these freight trains are expected to remove over 1,000 lorries off the road each day.
Hannah Lomas, Principal Programme Sponsor for the Transpennine Route Upgrade said:
“Once complete, the Transpennine Route Upgrade will transform travel in the North of England, reducing our carbon footprint by 87,000 tonnes of emissions each year, and providing a route that passengers can rely on.
“The installation of the very first Transpennine Route Upgrade electric wires in Greater Manchester is a major step toward a future of faster, greener and more reliable travel between Manchester and Stalybridge.”
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