Backers of the Transpennine Route Upgrade have received a major boost, with the Department for Transport (DfT) committing a further £317M to the northern rail scheme.
The Transpennine Route Upgrade involves the major overhaul and electrification of the northern rail line as well as upgrades to stations.
The bulk of the new funding into the Transpennine Route Upgrade will be used to improve connectivity between Leeds, Manchester and York, and deliver electrification and upgrades between York and Church Fenton.
The DfT has announced its support for the Transpennine project as part of a £401M investment to upgrade the county’s railways.
Alongside the £317M for the Transpennine Route Upgrade, the DfT has also announced £69M funding for the first stage of the Oxford Phase 2 project to unlock constraints and improve freight capacity from the Port of Southampton into the Midlands and the North.
£15M has also been released from the New Stations Fund for new stations at Marsh Barton in Exeter, and White Rose and Thorpe Park in Leeds.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Modernising and upgrading our vital transport links is critical to levelling up every part of this country, unleashing our economy and spreading opportunity as we build back better.
“Following closely after our reforms to deliver a modern, green and innovative railway that meets the needs of the nation, this package of £401M investment will help deliver reliable, punctual services that passengers across the UK can count on.”
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris added: “The scale of today’s investment demonstrates our commitment to delivering more punctual, greener and comfortable services right across the country.
“From the vital Transpennine and Midland Main Line upgrades, new stations giving communities in Yorkshire and the South West rail connections for the first time, and a shot in the arm for freight operators, we’re building a brighter future for the railways.”
£317M funding to develop the Transpennine Route Upgrade to improve connectivity between Leeds, Manchester and York and commence early works, including electrification between York and Church Fenton.
£69M funding for the first stage of the Oxford Phase 2 project to unlock constraints and improve freight capacity from the Port of Southampton into the Midlands and the North.
£15M from the New Stations Fund for new stations at Marsh Barton in Exeter, and White Rose and Thorpe Park in Leeds, to connect communities, support retail growth, improve access to employment and leisure, and support greener travel choices.
Total new funding: £401M
Railway Industry Association chief executive Darren Caplan welcomed the funding and said he hoped the funding was the “start of an extensive programme to electrify the UK’s railway lines around the country”.
“The Railway Industry Association and our members will welcome the Government’s confirmation of further electrification work on the Trans Pennine Route, and look forward to the green light for electrification of the whole route,” Caplan said.
“With the completion of electrification on the Midland Main line – delivered to time and budget – a consistent profile of further electrification work will help retain the skills, expertise and capabilities needed in the industry, to build the world-class railway network the country needs as we move on from the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We hope the announcement today is the start of an extensive programme to electrify the UK’s railway lines around the country. As RIA’s Rail Decarbonisation 2021 campaign highlights, a rolling programme of cost-effective electrification – coupled with Government support and fleet orders for hydrogen and battery trains – will be essential if the UK is to hit its goals of decarbonising rail by 2040 and securing Net Zero by 2050.”
Department of Civil Engineering:Department of Civil Engineering – International Burch University (ibu.edu.ba)