£589m for railway upgrade July 24, 2020

Part of the Trans-Pennine line is due for an upgrade to four tracks and electrificationThe Government has confirmed £589m of funding for a long-awaited upgrade and electrification of the main Trans-Pennine railway line from Manchester to Huddersfield and Leeds in West Yorkshire.

Plans have already been drawn up for a return to four tracks instead of two for the most congested section of route between Huddersfield and Dewsbury, where Calder Valley and Wakefield routes also converge and diverge with the line. Four tracks will allow fast trains to overtake slower ones. Most of the line will be electrified.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also announced the establishment of a new Northern Transport Acceleration Council (NTAC) dedicated to speeding up infrastructure projects to better connect the North’s towns and cities.

The NTAC will hold its first meeting in September and will be made up of mayors and council leaders with the Transport Secretary as chair.

Full line electrification, digital signalling, more multi-track capacity and more room for freight trains are now under consideration as part of an Integrated Rail Plan due to report in December.

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