Major Upgrade Promises Rail Investment for Shipley

The Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) is investing around £100million in a new rail depot in Shipley.
[l-r] Rail Minister Huw Merriman MP; Rob Warnes, Strategic Development Director, Northern; Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council and Neil Holm, Managing Director of the Transpennine Route Upgrade
Date 15.03.24

The scheme, which was announced today (Thursday 14 March) by Rail Minister Huw Merriman MP during a visit to Shipley Station, forms part of the Government’s £3.9billion investment into one of Britain’s largest rail projects.

This multi-billion-pound railway programme is delivering major upgrades on the 70-mile route between Manchester, Leeds and York, transforming journeys across the North, better connecting towns and cities through more frequent, faster, greener trains, running on a better, cleaner and more reliable railway.

The proposed design for the main building exterior of the new Shipley Depot

Initially, the rail depot will be used to house and maintain Northern’s fleet of electric trains on the Airedale and Wharfedale Lines while access in and out of their Neville Hill depot in Leeds is restricted during a future phase of TRU.

Northern will keep Shipley depot open following the completion of the upgrade, with as many as 100 permanent employees.

History has come full circle for the site, which was originally built as a goods yard alongside the railway line between Shipley and Bradford, opened by the Leeds & Bradford Railway Company in 1846. For decades it handled consignments of coal and stone from the nearby Wrose Quarry; when it returns to its railway roots it will be handling clean, modern electric trains.

The depot has most recently been used as a recycling centre operated by Crossley Evans, who have remained supportive and co-operative throughout the early development stages of the depot, which will redevelop an existing brownfield site within the town.

During the depot’s construction, TRU will continue to commit to its pledge to create local jobs and support local communities, with 65% of the team living within 25 miles and 80% living within 40 miles; and spending a minimum of 25% with local businesses to drive further growth in the North. To date, TRU has spent £420million (66%) with local businesses and £218million (34%) with small and medium-sized enterprises.

The proposed interior of the main trainshed at the new Shipley Depot

Neil Holm, Managing Director of TRU, said:

“We’re delighted to reveal our plans for this major investment in Shipley, demonstrating the Transpennine Route Upgrade’s commitment to supporting local communities and creating local jobs.

“This brand new depot will support rail services while we carry out essential improvements and will also leave long-lasting legacy benefits for the town going forward.”

Rob Warnes, Strategic Development Director for Northern, said:

“We’re delighted to announce this investment in our brand new TrainCare Centre for Shipley. As the future home for most of our electric train fleets for West Yorkshire, the new site will bring a wealth of highly-skilled jobs into the region, as well as providing resilience for our network across the North.

“It will play a key part in helping us to deliver our plans for the Transpennine Route Upgrade and beyond.”

Rail Minister Huw Merriman said:

“It’s great to be returning to West Yorkshire with another significant announcement to boost rail travel for passengers across the North, demonstrating this Government’s plan to investing in infrastructure and support the region’s huge potential for growth.

“Today marks my fourth visit to Bradford and its surrounding areas in the past five months, with this investment creating new jobs and more reliable services as we accelerate our multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade to transform rail journeys for generations to come.”

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said:

“We welcome this major investment in Shipley, which is another vote of confidence in the district from industry and further positions Bradford as a great place to do business.

“The new depot will be an important part of operating rail in the north of England, increasing service reliability for rail service users. A new state-of-the-art facility such as this is one of the many tangible improvements to the rail network we are supporting, delivering greener, more accessible trains across the north.

“Increasing employment opportunities and developing skills through regeneration are key priorities for the Council, so it’s great to hear that local jobs will be created to facilitate this project in the immediate term, as well as up to 100 permanent skilled posts being created in the longer term.”

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