Rail services to continue during major weekend Transpennine Route Upgrade work between Leeds and York

Major engineering works are set to commence over the next two weekends as improvements are brought to the power supply between Leeds and Neville Hill, as well as track upgrades at Church Fenton.
Date 26.10.23

These developments are part of the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade which has already brought newly reinforced railway line through Castleford, and it’ll be that same line that means passengers can continue moving by train whilst improvements are carried out between Leeds and York.

Over the course of the two weekends, teams will install 3 kilometres of high voltage cables alongside the railway between Leeds and Neville Hill, which will provide the power for the future electrification of the Transpennine Route east of Leeds planned for later this decade.

Meanwhile, at Church Fenton engineers will completely renew a 1.5 kilometre stretch of railway, including the ballast stones and sleepers the tracks sit on, as well as the rails themselves.

These improvements will enable faster, quieter, greener and more frequent trains on this key line, linking the cities of York, Leeds and Manchester more efficiently than ever.

Passengers can keep their plans on track whilst these upgrades are implemented – trains between Leeds and York, as well as Leeds and Hull can continue to run via the Castleford route whilst the main line is closed.

The following routes will be affected on the following dates:

On Saturdays 28 October & 4 November, direct trains between Leeds and York will be diverted and stopping services will run between Leeds and Selby instead.

  • Replacement buses will run between Micklefield and York

On Sundays 29 October & 5 November, trains between Leeds and York and between Leeds, Selby and Hull, will be diverted

  • Replacement buses will serve all stations between Leeds and York
  • Replacement buses will also serve all stations between Leeds and Selby

Passengers planning to use the train should check before they travel via National Rail Enquiries or their train operator for the latest updates.

The past two years have seen an alternative route via Castleford undergo major work, and the benefits of this upgrade are coming to fruition as the line continues to serve as a vital diversion route able to carry an additional two trains per hour.

Adam Sellers, Senior Sponsor for the Transpennine Route Upgrade at Network Rail, said:

“These upgrades between Leeds and York are a significant step forward for the Transpennine Route Upgrade programme, bringing us one stage closer to faster, greener and more reliable journeys across the North of England. 

We have worked closely with train operators on the route, Northern and TransPennine Express, to make sure that there is a robust plan in place to keep passengers on the move with diversions and rail replacement services in place.” 

Chris Nutton, Major Projects Director for TransPennine Express, said: 

“The work taking place is vital to the Transpennine Route Upgrade programme and will lead to a number of service alterations. We will do all we can to keep customers on the move, and the plan is to divert our trains via the upgraded Castleford route. 

 Customers are advised to allow additional time to travel and to check carefully for the latest travel advice on our website: www.tpexpress.co.uk/travel-updates/changes-to-train-times; updates will also be available on our social media channels.

Additional staff will also be on hand at key stations to help make customers journeys as smooth as possible.” 

The work to deliver the infrastructure improvements on the eastern part of the route between York and Leeds is being carried out by the Transpennine Route Upgrade East Alliance, comprising Network Rail, J. Murphy & Sons, Siemens, Systra and VolkerRail.



Notes to Editors: 

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