TRU on track to delivering 8,000 jobs: NCW

Tuesday 5 Mar 2024

TRU on track to delivering 8,000 jobs

Region & Route:

This National Careers Week, the Transpennine Route Upgrade has reaffirmed its commitment to creating employment in the Kirklees area as colleagues attended the Kirklees College Skills and Apprenticeships Fair in Dewsbury.

A key part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade’s sustainability strategy – Our Guiding Compass – is to create 4,000 new roles and safeguard another 4,000 jobs during construction across the entire route, of which 20% will be from underrepresented groups to create a diverse team that reflects the communities in which we work.

The strategy also outlines plans to ensure that 60% of the project workforce are employed from within 25 miles of the route and 80% within 40 miles.

The event is organised in partnership with Mark Eastwood MP, who said: “Promoting apprenticeships and getting people on the employment ladder as an alternative to a university degree is a key priority of mine as the Member of Parliament for Dewsbury.

“I’m delighted that TRU were in attendance at my Skills and Apprenticeships Fair last week. The Transpennine Route Upgrade will create jobs and employment for thousands of people, many potentially coming from my constituency.”

Another aim of the programme is to take on 590 apprentices, and we’re fast approaching the halfway mark with over 260 already on board. 44 of them are from West Yorkshire alone, with events such as this one in Dewsbury a unique opportunity to talk to local students at an important stage of their career decision-making process.

Karl Wilson, TRU Social Value Coordinator, said: “Our Social Value team visits local schools, colleges and universities to promote apprenticeships. Part of our job is to offer work experience to students and talk about the wide range of jobs available on a project such as the Transpennine Route Upgrade.”

The incredible work that the TRU Social Value team does enables the programme to reach people we may have otherwise not reached – by 2035, we aim to have delivered over 30,000 placement days to support new entrants joining the industry, pre-employment, transitioning and upskilling of which a minimum of 20% will be from underrepresented groups.

Notes to Editors

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.

Our full sustainability strategy can be found here: Our Guiding Compass - Transpennine Route Upgrade (

Contact information

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Ewan Bayliss
Communications Executive
Network Rail

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