A West Yorkshire rail upgrade has been given the green light, with the multi-billion-pound project aiming to bring a faster, greener, and better-connected railway to passengers in the North of England. This will stand as the biggest milestone and infrastructural upgrade that the Transpennine Route Upgrade has achieved.
Moving forward after the approval, plans are for Network Rail to transform the journey between Huddersfield and Westtown (Dewsbury). The planned infrastructural renovations are to install a plethora of new tracks, track layouts reimagined and major renovations at Huddersfield, Deighton, Mirfield and Ravensthorpe stations.
The upcoming project, once completed, will bring major economic growth into the north as it will increase the interconnectivity between York and Manchester, allowing for easier commuting on a reliable railway. Other benefits will come in environmental impacts as Network Rail have ambitions for a cleaner, greener railway to boost the Governments ambitions to achieve carbon net zero.
The Transport and Works Act Order had been approved by the Secretary of State for Transport on Monday 27th June, six months prior to original planning. The approval was granted following three years of planning and public consultation, considering the views of residents, rail users and other stakeholders. A public inquiry was held in November and December 2021.
Neil Holm, Transpennine Route Upgrade Director for Network Rail, said:
“This is a massive success for the Transpennine Route Upgrade. It brings us another step closer to delivering faster, more frequent trains, and a greener, more reliable railway for passengers.
“Work on this part of the route is essential for unlocking wider benefits for passengers travelling between York and Manchester via Leeds and Huddersfield. It’ll allow us to run more trains along the route, giving passengers a much better chance of finding a seat and enjoying their journey.”
The upcoming renovative works will include:
- Double the number of tracks (from two to four), making way for more frequent, faster trains
- Upgraded stations at Huddersfield, Deighton, Mirfield and a brand-new station at Ravensthorpe, providing an easier to use, more accessible railway for all
- A flyover near Ravensthorpe, which will separate the lines running to / from Wakefield with those to / from Leeds to help reduce congestion
Chris Nutton, Major Projects Director for TransPennine Express, said:
“This announcement is a massive step forward towards delivering a railway fit for the 21st century across the North of England, which will provide real benefits for those that use our services and travel between some of our country’s biggest cities.”
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