UK rail minister Huw Merriman has announced £3.9bn will be awarded to the Transpennine Route Upgrade project.
The cash injection brings the total funding to date for the project – which is designed to quicken journey times, reduce carbon emissions and result in more reliable services between key northern cities – to £6.9bn.
The initial £3bn in funding has been used to provide maintenance and upgrades including fully electrified tracks along certain routes.
Further funding will be confirmed as the project progresses to support the overall cost of up to £11.5bn.
The £3.9bn announced will be invested in doubling the number of tracks from two to four between Huddersfield and Ravensthorpe, allowing faster trains to overtake slower stopping services and freight journeys.
Once complete in the mid-2030s, the upgrade will offer up to eight trains per hour, hundreds of extra seats and cut journey times between Manchester and York by 10 minutes.
The investment will also support digital signalling along the route to allow trains to run closer together, leading to more frequent and reliable services.
Once complete, the full route will offer significantly improved services on the route between Manchester-Huddersfield-Leeds-York with rail users benefiting from a fully-electrified line, accessible stations and more frequent services.
The project forms part of the UK government’s recent commitment to improving transport throughout the north, including the delivery of Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), which will receive funding of £12bn to better connect Liverpool and Manchester.
“The Transpennine Route Upgrade represents the first major step in delivering transformed east-west connectivity in the north and I’m delighted to announce this multibillion-pound funding boost to move to the next stage of delivery,” said Merriman.
“This announcement demonstrates this government’s commitment to delivering its Network North plan, which will improve journeys, help to level up regions and grow the economy.”
The government also confirmed the inclusion of Bradford and Hull in its NPR scheme, using proceeds from HS2.
The new Bradford station, funded through this scheme, will facilitate a rail connection to Manchester via Huddersfield – almost halving journey times while doubling seat capacity up to an extra 1,000 seats per hour.
It is estimated that congestion in the areas surrounding the Transpennine Route Upgrade project will drastically improve as carbon emissions will be reduced by 108,000 tonnes a year and up to 15 extra freight trains will be able to travel per day.
Achievements and innovations in public transport will be celebrated at the third annual CiTTi Awards, which will be held on 26 November 2024 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Nominations officially open in March 2024. Visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector.