Northern UK rail passengers are set to see a significant boost as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps more than trebles the investment for TransPennine Route Upgrades (TRU) seeing an increase in funding, from £2.9bn to more than £9bn.
The massive funding increase will strengthen the TRU and Northern PowerHouse Rail, revolutionising an already ambitious project to a 'gold standard’ and delivering on the Government’s priority of Levelling Up the country. Journey times will be slashed, and the foundations will be set for the Northern PowerHouse Rail. The investment will also assist in the net-zero ambitions across the UK as carbon emissions will be reduced by up to 87,000 tons per year.
Technological based infrastructure upgrades will be fitted across the route, seeing electrification and full digitalised signalling, as well as increased capacity on the lines for passenger and freight services between Huddersfield and Westtown in Dewsbury, doubling tracks from two to four.
The next phase pf the TRU project will see a funding increase of £959m allocated to the route between Manchester and York, seeing upgrades on the remaining electrification of the railway between Stalybridge and Manchester and unlocking shorter journey times. These benefits will stretch to freight haulage along the route too as the freight flows with electric trains will allow maximised line capacity.
Increased project funding will also facilitate Northern Powerhouse Rail potentially doubling the amount of direct construction jobs from 2000 to up to 4,000. Whilst this will benefit the local communities through better opportunities, it will also lead to thousands of lorries off British our roads, benefitting the net-zero carbon ambitions within the sector.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said
“Through our record-breaking Integrated Rail Plan, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to redesign the railways and it’s only right that we deliver this in line with the best quality technology at our disposal.
“By trebling the overall investment in the TRU, I’m ensuring the North is at the forefront of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda and guaranteeing passengers gold standard services set to deliver greener, faster and reliable services through Northern Powerhouse Rail, electrification and additional train tracks.”
The TRU project, as part of the Integrated Rail Plan, will be hitting the tracks from 2025 - boosting economic growth and creating local skilled jobs. An upgraded route will bring more reliability to UK rail services whilst bringing a fully electrified Northern Powerhouse Rail.
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