The government has announced hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of funding for northern rail networks in a bid to make services “faster, greener and more reliable”.
Investment of £317 million has been confirmed to upgrade the Transpennine route for passengers between Manchester, Leeds and York – promising punctual services with improved connectivity.
Major works are currently underway on one of the busiest stretches of track in the north – a route that sees 100 trains passing through every day.
Tracks are being adapted for hybrid trains running under electric power – supporting the government’s ‘zero carbon by 2050’ agenda.
Other funding will go towards new train stations at White Rose and Thorpe Park in Leeds.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Modernising and upgrading our vital transport links is critical to levelling up every part of this country, unleashing our economy and spreading opportunity as we build back better.
“Following closely after our reforms to deliver a modern, green and innovative railway that meets the needs of the nation, this package of £401 million investment will help deliver reliable, punctual services that passengers across the UK can count on.”
The government recently announced the biggest shake-up of UK rail networks for 25 years with the plan for new public body Great British Railways (GBR) – which will run networks, set fares and create timetables moving ahead.
Under the modern regime, private firms will continue to run trains – but contracts will be awarded to operators by GBR.