Passengers and freight operators across the north and Midlands will see faster, greener and more reliable rail services, as the government announces a significant funding boost into the railways on Wednesday May 26th 2021.
Investment of £317 million into the set-piece Transpennine route upgrade will boost punctuality, reliability and connectivity for passengers between York, Leeds and Manchester, and £69 million of improvements to increase freight capacity between the Port of Southampton and the Midlands will boost economic growth. £15 million from the New stations fund will also build new stations at Marsh Barton in Exeter, and White Rose and Thorpe Park in Leeds, to connect communities, support retail growth, improve access to employment and leisure, and support greener travel choices.
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."
Transport Ministers Chris Heaton-Harris and Andrew Stephenson set out how the total package of £401 million will build on existing investments to improve rail connectivity, journey speeds and capacity across the country. On Monday, the Rail Minister visited Kettering station to see how major government funding is already introducing more modern services for passengers. Chris Heaton-Harris saw the completion of the first phase of the £1.5 billion Midland main line upgrade, which has successfully delivered the launch of East Midlands railway’s first electric services. Cutting carbon emissions by 77% on the route between Corby and London St Pancras, and running on a newly completed additional track between Kettering and Corby, the fleet delivers greener journeys, more late night and early morning services, and extra seats for passengers.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: "The scale of today’s investment demonstrates our commitment to delivering more punctual, greener and comfortable services right across the country. From the vital Transpennine and Midland Main Line upgrades, new stations giving communities in Yorkshire and the south-west rail connections for the first time, and a shot in the arm for freight operators, we’re building a brighter future for the railways."
Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson will visit major works taking place along the Transpennine route in Yorkshire today, including at Leeds, Hambleton and Colton, to see electrification works that form an important part of the government’s agenda to achieve zero carbon by 2050. Proposals for even more extensive electrification on the route are currently being considered.
The bulk of the new funding into the Transpennine route upgrade will be used to improve connectivity between Leeds, Manchester and York, and deliver electrification and upgrades between York and Church Fenton. As one of the busiest stretches of track in the North, with over 100 trains passing through each day, these works will improve reliability and enable new and upgraded hybrid trains to run under electric power.
Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson said: "Additional investment into the Transpennine Route Upgrade will cut delays and create a more punctual network, with electrification helping deliver greener journeys on this key route. Only by investing in, modernising and expanding our railways can we provide passengers with the reliable and resilient services they expect, and create a transport network that is fit for the future."
About the UK Department for Transport
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) work with our agencies and partners to support the transport network that helps the UK’s businesses and gets people and goods travelling around the country. We plan and invest in transport infrastructure to keep the UK on the move. DfT is a ministerial department, supported by 24 agencies and public bodies