£3.9bn confirmed for next phase of Transpennine Route Upgrade

New ground has been broken on the Transpennine Route Upgrade, as the Minister for Rail announced a £3.9bn funding boost to the North’s most transformative rail project.
Minister for Rail Huw Merriman with Neil Holm, Transpennine Route Upgrade Managing Director
Date 05.12.23

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, 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.

  • Design for the new Ravensthorpe Viaduct
  • Design for the new Ravensthorpe Viaduct
  • Design for the new Ravensthorpe Viaduct

We’re transforming journeys across the North, better connecting towns and cities through more frequent, faster trains, running on a cleaner, greener and more reliable railway. TRU will bring passengers:  

  • More trains to choose from and more seats. Our improvements will enable more trains to run between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York with up to six fast services every hour between Leeds and Manchester and up to two stopping services for local connectivity.
  • Faster journeys so you can travel to your favourite towns and cities more quickly. Our fastest journey times are forecast to be 63-66 minutes between Manchester and York and 41-42 minutes between Manchester and Leeds.
  • More reliable journeys with trains that run on-time
  • Better stations across the Transpennine route, bringing passengers a better travel experience through improved, more accessible stations
  • Greener travel, reducing our carbon footprint and improving air quality. Our plans aim to save up to 87,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year – supporting the government’s Net Zero objectives. We’re also developing a proposal to move more goods by rail (up to 15 more freight trains each day.)
  • Together, these freight trains are expected to remove over 1,000 lorries off the road each day.

The multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) will bring this line into the 21st century with 70-miles of fully electric, digital railway. Our plans include:  

  • Electrifying the whole route between Manchester and York via Huddersfield and Leeds
  • Installing a new digital signalling system along the Transpennine route
  • Doubling the number of tracks from two to four between Huddersfield and Westtown in Dewsbury.
  • Station improvements along the route to enhance customer experience, comfort and accessibility
  • Improving the railway on diversionary routes to allow more trains to run, to help keep passengers and freight moving while the core Transpennine route is closed to deliver essential upgrades. This will provide capacity and reliability improvements for future too

A list of stations which will receive accessibility upgrades include:

  • Mossley   
  • Greenfield   
  • Marsden   
  • Slaithwaite   
  • Huddersfield   
  • Deighton   
  • Mirfield   
  • Ravensthorpe   
  • Dewsbury   
  • Batley   
  • Morley   
  • Cross Gates   
  • Garforth