Tuesday 11 Apr 2017
Rail passengers urged to check before they travel this Easter as work begins between Leeds and York
The first landmark step towards the transformation of the Transpennine Route between York and Manchester will take place this Easter weekend, with passengers urged to check their journeys before they travel.
Over the bank holiday Easter weekend, a time when fewer passengers use the railway, Network Rail will renew a vital junction at Micklefield in West Yorkshire which will improve reliability and train performance. This scheme is part of the Great North Rail Project and Britain's Railway Upgrade Plan.
The Transpennine Route Upgrade aims to deliver faster, longer, more frequent and more reliable services across the north of England, from Newcastle, Hull and York towards Manchester and Liverpool via Leeds. Network Rail is currently working on the development of potential infrastructure options for the Transpennine Route Upgrade and will submit these options to the Department for Transport (DfT) for consideration in December.
This first, 101-hour, meticulously planned project will mean some services are not able to run between Leeds and York this Easter weekend between 14 and 18 of April, with others diverted on alternative routes. Passengers are advised to plan ahead now and check before they make travel plans via their train operator or by visiting nationalrail.co.uk.
While the junction is being upgraded, additional work will take place to the track alignment through Micklefield station as well as work to extend Platform 2 to support longer trains in the future.
Jeremy Winsper, Senior Sponsor for Network Rail’s Transpennine Route Upgrade programme, said: “This is a first step towards delivering a faster and more reliable rail network to the east of the Pennines. This junction sees a large number of trains using it every day and is a vital path for passengers travelling through Leeds, bound for our major cities across the north, including Newcastle, Manchester and Hull.
“By renewing it at Easter, a time when traditionally fewer people travel by rail, we are increasing the long-term reliability and significantly reducing the risk of unplanned disruption in the future.”
Paul Barnfield, Regional Director for Northern, said: “The Easter work at Micklefield is a vital part of Network Rail’s project which will pave the way for our own modernisation programme.
“Once complete, this work will complement other improvements taking place across the region, including the refurbishment of all Northern trains and the introduction of 281 new, purpose built carriages, and will help us provide a rail service fit for the 21st Century.”
Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express, said: “The important work taking place outside Leeds over the upcoming Bank holiday will help create an improved railway for customers.
“There will be changes to our services between York and Manchester and to and from Hull while in the North West, customers travelling between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool Lime Street are also encouraged to check before they travel.”
- Network Rail is currently working on the potential infrastructure options for the Transpennine Route Upgrade and will submit these options to the Department for Transport (DfT) for consideration in December. An announcement from the DfT is then expected in due course.
- The work at Micklefield is being delivered now to combine it with Network Rail’s planned renewal works.
- Only when the full range of options for the Transpennine Route Upgrade has been explored and decided upon, the exact number of minutes saved/additional seats/additional services can be confirmed.
- By 2022 the Great North Rail Project (GNRP), part of Britain's Railway Upgrade Plan, will have delivered more than £1bn of improvements for customers across the north of England. It will enable hundreds more trains to run each day: more trains with more seats, running more quickly and more reliably. Train customers are the immediate beneficiaries of improved transport links (or connectivity) between towns and cities in the North.
- For more information on the Great North Rail Project, visit our website
Passengers / community members
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Latest travel advice
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Network Rail press office - Toby Higgins
Media relations manager (London North Eastern & East Midlands route)
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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.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.