Passengers urged to plan ahead of major rail track upgrades in Huddersfield: Hudds1

Thursday 27 Jul 2023

Passengers urged to plan ahead of major rail track upgrades in Huddersfield

Region & Route:
Eastern: North & East

Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) is reminding passengers travelling along the rail line between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York to plan their journeys ahead of time, as track upgrades in Huddersfield are due to take place each weekend throughout September and October.

Over the two months, hundreds of engineers working on the multi-billion-pound scheme will replace approximately 650m of railway tracks. This work will enable trains to travel at higher speeds and improve the overall reliability of services passing through the area in the future, as the number of railway tracks will increase from two to four.

While the railway line through Huddersfield will be temporarily closed to facilitate the upgrades, passengers will be kept on the move through a combination of diversionary routes and rail replacement buses.

Gareth Hope, Sponsor for the Transpennine Route Upgrade said "Between September and October, we'll be renewing the railway tracks in Huddersfield each weekend. This work is a key aspect of our wider upgrades and will not only allow for trains to travel at higher speeds in the future, but also increase the reliability of services."

"We’re committed to ensuring a smooth transition during the upgrades and passengers can rely on a mixture of diversionary routes and rail replacement buses to keep them moving."

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their patience and understanding while the work takes place and remind customer to check or their respective train operator's if travelling over this period”.

Additionally in August, engineers will complete railway bridge upgrades in the Huddersfield area on 6, 13, 19, 20 August 2023. These upgrades will allow the number of railway lines to increase, by strengthening the bridge structures to support more weight.

Chris Nutton, Major Projects Director for TransPennine Express, said: “This vital work is key to the overall modernisation of the railway that will be taking place as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade, which will help deliver a faster and more sustainable service for our customers who travel between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.

 “We’d like to thank our customers in advance for their patience while this work take place. To keep customers on the move, there will be some changes to our services, including diversions, and we advise our anyone to check carefully before travelling. We’ll have extra staff on hand at stations to help customers who are travelling on days affected by this work.”

 The track upgrades are essential for achieving the TRU's vision of creating a cleaner, greener, and more reliable railway system, bringing improved connectivity and travel experiences to passengers traveling across the Pennines.

Tony Baxter, Regional Director at Northern, said: “Whilst this work is essential and will lay the foundations for the transformation of Huddersfield station, we appreciate that nobody likes the thought of disruption to their journeys. That’s why we’ve worked hard to keep our customers on trains, with trains running as normal during these works between Sheffield, Barnsley and Lockwood, connecting with just a short bus journey between Lockwood and Huddersfield. I’d like to thank customers in advance for bearing with us whilst this work takes place.”

TRU will enhance rail connectivity and improve travel experiences for passengers traveling between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds, and York, better connecting towns and cities through more frequent, faster trains, running on a cleaner, greener and more reliable railway.

Notes to Editors

Passenger handling

Northern services between Huddersfield and Halifax will use alternative transport and services from Sheffield will terminate at Lockwood, with rail replacement buses running between Lockwood at Huddersfield.

TransPennine Express services will run to an amended timetable, with services between Manchester Victoria and Leeds being using diversionary routes and not calling at Huddersfield. Rail replacement bus services will also be in use and customers are advised to check before they travel.

Affected dates


  • Sunday 6 August 2023
  • Sunday 13 August 2023
  • Saturday 19 August to Sunday 20 August 2023

September and October

  • Saturday 9 September to Sunday 10 September 2023
  • Saturday 16 September to Sunday 17 September 2023
  • Saturday 23 September to Sunday 24 September 2023
  • Saturday 30 September to Sunday 1 October 2023
  • Saturday 7 October to Sunday 8 October 2023
  • Saturday 14 October to Sunday 15 October 2023
  • Saturday 21 October to Sunday 22 October 2023

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 63-70 minutes between Manchester and York (saving 8-14 mins) and 42-44 minutes between Manchester and Leeds (saving 8-10 mins). This is compared to December 2022 timetable journey times of 74-82 minutes between Manchester and York and 48-55 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 reduce the carbon used to operate the railway by 250,000 tonnes of CO2e by 2035 and 6 million tonnes of CO2e over the next 60-years– supporting the government’s Net Zero objectives. That’s the equivalent of taking six million cars off the road for a year.
  • We’re also progressing our designs which will enable up to 15 more freight trains per day to move more goods by rail. Together, these freight trains are expected to remove over 1,000 lorries off the road each day.
  • Improved air quality due to electrification and modal shift.


TRU will also boost local economies and provide more opportunities for the local community

  • Jobs for local people. It has been estimated that approx. 4,500 full-time employees will be required at peak levels to deliver TRU.
  • TRU is employing locally with a target of 60% from within 25 miles and 80% from within 40 miles of the route. Presently 71% of TRU employees are classified as local employees but this will fluctuate as the programme grows.
  • Apprentices; The programme is estimating to employ over 500 apprentices throughout the programme. Up to November 2022 the programme has employed 165 apprentices.
  • Delivering a minimum 50p value to society for every £1 spent on construction on the TRU programme, generating £4.28 billion of social value (through employment, spending locally, engaging students etc)
  • Spending a minimum 25% with local businesses to drive further growth in the North
  • Preserving and enhancing the natural landscape to increase biodiversity and delivering a minimum 10% net gain
  • Providing step free access to a minimum 99% of the customers using the route from intermediate stations
  • Deliver 25,000 hours volunteering in the community to develop job skills and shape public spaces alongside the communities that use them

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 Dewsbury and installing a third track between Marsden and Huddersfield  
  • 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.

We’ll need to close parts of the route while we deliver these major upgrades. We will keep passengers moving and economies growing while making the biggest investment in this line since it was built in the 1870s.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Alec Herron

About Network Rail

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