New ground has been broken today on the Transpennine Route Upgrade, as the Minister for Rail announced a £3.9bn funding boost to the North’s most transformative rail project.
 

This increase takes the total funding of the project to £6.9bn and will allow for works taking place across the route between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York to progress further, as the journey to deliver more frequent, faster trains running on a cleaner, greener and more reliable railway continues.

 

During his visit to Ravensthorpe this morning (4 December), Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “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 multi-billion-pound funding boost to move to the next stage of delivery.

“Today’s 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 funding confirmed in today’s announcement will be used to double the number of tracks from two to four between Huddersfield and Ravensthorpe, meaning faster trains can overtake slower stopping services and additional freight.

Upgrades to the trains that operate along the route are in place as the need for them to be suited to modernised tracks ramps up – TransPennine Express are set to receive 29 new trains to replace their existing diesel fleet, whilst Northern await new trains for their local stopping services.

 

Rob Warnes, Strategic Development Director for Northern, said: “We are really pleased to hear this announcement for the next phase of funding for the Transpennine Route Upgrade.

“The work taking place here at Ravensthorpe will improve not only the speeds that our trains can run through the area, but also the number of trains we’ll be able to provide in the future.

“The successful delivery of the TRU programme is crucial for boosting the economy of the North, with faster, greener and more frequent trains the key to connecting people with better employment, education and leisure opportunities.”

 

Chris Jackson, Managing Director for TransPennine Express, added: “Today’s announcement on the next tranche of funding for the Transpennine Route Upgrade is fantastic news for rail users across the North of England.

“The work that will take place will enable journey time improvements for our customers who travel across the Pennines, while also improving capacity along the route allowing us to run faster, greener and more reliable services.

“Not only will this be transformational for our customers, it will also be transformational for the local economies that we serve, helping grow the economy and creating local skilled jobs.”

 

Sustainability remains at the heart of the TRU programme; the latest injection of funding will see the regional economy realise a range of benefits as thousands of jobs and apprentice roles will be created, carbon emissions will be reduced by 108,000 tonnes per year and scope for 15 extra freight trains to be in use per day.