Rail and road disruption in Selby as bridge reconstruction starts: Barkston Ash Hero

Thursday 23 May 2024

Rail and road disruption in Selby as bridge reconstruction starts

Region & Route:

Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) is reminding passengers and road users to plan their journey ahead of time, as major improvement works are carried out between Leeds and York from Sunday 26 May to Monday 3 June.

The TRU team will be replacing the railway bridge deck over the A162 London Road between Sherburn-in-Elmet and Barkston Ash. The bridge, which was opened in 1869 by the North Eastern Railway, is approaching life expiry and needs replacing with a stronger bridge deck – doing so before the line’s electrification will enable more frequent, faster, heavier passenger and freight trains to run.


Adam Sellers, Senior Sponsor for Transpennine Route Upgrade, said:

“These improvement works form a major part of the programme as we take a step closer to full electrification of the Transpennine route.

“We’d like to remind passengers and road users to plan their journey in advance as train services and road access will be disrupted and thank them for their patience as we deliver these essential upgrades.”


The A162 London Road beneath the bridge will be closed between 08:00 on Sunday 26 May until 00:01 on Monday 3 June to allow for the work to take place. A clearly-signed diversionary route for cars and HGVs via the A1(M) will be in place, with further details available at Causeway one.network

We’d like to remind road users to follow the signed diversionary route as opposed to sat-nav, in order to minimise the amount of traffic on the narrow roads through the nearby communities of Church Fenton and Barkston Ash.

A minibus shuttle will be provided for pedestrians to link either side of the bridge as the footpath beneath the bridge will be closed.

The bridge deck will be replaced between Tuesday 28 May and Friday 31 May. As well as the A162 London Road closure, some trains between Leeds and York will be diverted via Castleford during these dates. Church Fenton and Ulleskelf stations will be served by rail replacement buses to York and to Micklefield for rail connections to and from Leeds. They will continue to be served by train services between York, Selby and Hull as usual.

We’re advising to passengers to check before they travel at National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator. The line will reopen to train services on Saturday 1 June.


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

“The bridge work taking place at Barkston Ash between Micklefield and Church Fenton is essential for the delivery of the Transpennine Route Upgrade.

“While this work is being carried out, TransPennine Express will operate an amended timetable on our North route services and divert trains between Leeds and York via a diversionary route, with slightly longer journey times. We'd like to advise customers to check before they travel.”


This essential work was initially planned to take place during the Christmas period, but high winds meant it was unsafe to operate the large crane needed to move the bridge deck into place.

These upgrades take us another step closer to delivering more frequent, faster trains on a cleaner, greener, more reliable railway between York, Leeds and Manchester.

Notes to Editors

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.

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.

TRU will bring local communities:
• Jobs for local people. Our workforce will be local, with 80% employment from
within a 40-mile radius of the route, and 60% employment from within a 25-mile
radius. With a current workforce of around 2000 people, we estimate that could
double over the course of the programme. We’ll employ an apprentice for every
£4million spent.
• Improved natural environments near the railway through 10% biodiversity net
gain across the route. This will create or enhance habitats for wildlife.
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
• 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.

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Ewan Bayliss
Communications Executive
Network Rail

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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