Supplier certainty follows £84m north west rail investment

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Suppliers have been given a boost following the announcement of an £84m government investment into infrastructure upgrades in north west England.

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Network Rail completes major rail upgrade in Manchester as part of Transpennine Route Upgrade (Image: Network Rail)

The investment announced by the Department for Transport (DfT) is expected to cut delays and improve the reliability of trains across the region.

Work is now underway with upgrades to track-side equipment between Manchester and Liverpool and platform extensions on the Cumbrian route. This will support the introduction of longer trains with extra seats and an upcoming timetable change across the region will increase reliability.

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Further works in 2023 will see additional platform extensions to some of the busiest routes across the North West and West Yorkshire, supporting the rollout of longer electric trains by rail operator Northern.

The funding will also allow development work to continue, including re-signalling along the Castlefield Corridor and remodelling of Manchester Oxford Road station. Work on the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) will also continue with the electrification and resignalling of the line and track renewals.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said the investment marks the start of a decade’s worth of improvements across the region, adding that the Transpennine Route Upgrade, the Integrated Rail Plan and Northern Powerhouse Rail will positively transform passengers’ rail journeys.

Commenting on the investment, which is in addition to the £96bn Integrated Rail Plan, Justin Moss, chair of Rail Industry Association (RIA) North, said: “Rail suppliers will welcome the investment announced today in Manchester’s railway network, which will help alleviate the bottleneck around the Castlefield Corridor and improve capability and capacity.

"We hope this is the start of a number of rail projects from the Integrated Rail Plan and the outstanding Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline.”