Network Rail train between York and Church Fenton

Yorkshire track improvements completed on time despite lightning strike

Network Rail successfully completed work to upgrade the track between York and Church Fenton over the weekend, despite a lightning strike compromising signalling, in the hopes of providing more reliable journeys for passengers in Yorkshire.

The busy line runs through Ulleskelf station, and Network Rail engineers replaced around 450 metres of track, subsequently reducing disruption and the level of maintenance required in the future.

The upgrades should improve reliability before future improvements, as part of the Transpennine Route upgrade – a multi-billion-pound, transformative, long-term railway infrastructure programme to improve connectivity in the North – bringing in more trains, quicker journeys and consistency between York and Manchester via Leeds and Huddersfield.

The improvements have been welcomed with open arms after a lightning strike is thought to have caused a signalling fault in the area over the weekend (Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 July), causing delays in services between Leeds and Church Fenton. This is not the first time the line has encountered issues this year, as back in May, an engineering train derailed at Church Fenton.

However, Network rail teams have now restored the damage and services are back up and running.

Route Director for Network Rail’s North and East Route, Matt Rice, said: “I’m delighted that the track improvements were completed as planned. This upgrade will provide smoother, more reliable journeys for passengers making short connections across Yorkshire and I’d like to thank passengers for their patience whilst the work was carried out.”

“Its unfortunate that a lighting strike late last night affected trains first thing this morning, but our teams have worked hard to fix the issue and services should be back to normal soon.”

On Sunday 11, Sunday 18 and Sunday 25 July, Northern trains between Hull and York will be diverted via an alternative route, between Selby and York, and will not call at Sherburn-in-Elmet, Church Fenton and Ulleskelf.

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