£4bn to speed up Transpennine Route Upgrade


The UK Government has pledged £3.9 billion to speed up delivery of the Transpennine Route Upgrade in the north of England.  

Credit: Transpennine Route Upgrade.

When fully built in the mid-2030s, the fully electrified rail project connecting Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York could cut carbon emissions while offering more frequent services from improved train stations, said the Department for Transport (DfT).  

It comes after the planned HS2 route between Birmingham and Manchester was scrapped by government in October, which promised to redirect the money to Network North and a Midlands Rail Hub. 

Under the plans, tracks between Huddersfield and Ravensthorpe will be doubled from two to four, to allow overtaking. 

New digital signalling along the route also will allow trains to run closer together, increasing frequency. 

And up to 29 new trains to replace an existing diesel fleet could be commissioned by TransPennine Express. 

Thousands of jobs and apprentice roles will need to be created to support delivery, said DfT. 

The announcement means government has invested a total of £6.9 billion into the upgrade so far; the overall cost of TRU is expected to be up to £11.5 billion.  

“Transpennine Route Upgrade is well underway with building the infrastructure that bring passengers more frequent, faster, greener trains, that run on a better, cleaner and more reliable railway for generations to come,” said Neil Holm, managing director for the Transpennine Route Upgrade. 

“This commitment by the government to our programme allows us to move two of our largest projects from design into construction and delivery. It brings us one big step closer to delivering the future of rail travel in the North of England.” 

Darren Oldham, transport for the north’s director of rail and road, added: “We fully welcome the investment in this corridor as it will improve journey times, reliability, capability and capacity between Manchester and York via Huddersfield and Leeds. It will also reduce the pressure on the road network, particularly the M62 between West Yorkshire and Manchester.” 

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