On track to better: Transpennine Route Upgrade extends thanks to passengers and local communities

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With 2024 almost upon us, everyone across the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) team would like to extend their gratitude to passengers for their support during what has been a ground-breaking year for the programme. 

From the construction of platforms and footbridges to the laying of new track, or major signalling upgrades to the installation of drainage, the Transpennine Route Upgrade is firmly on track to deliver more frequent, faster trains on a cleaner, greener, more reliable railway. 

As well as significant milestones being reached on railway infrastructure works, our approach to diversity and sustainability has seen unprecedented success as the implementation of Our Guiding Compass allowed us to take huge strides in improving the lives of millions of people across the North. 

With 2023 coming to a close, we’d like to reflect on just a few examples of what has been achieved this year.  

TRU’s 2023 Journey: 

  • January: Completion of planned route-wide upgrades by engineers over the New Year period. 
  • February: The construction of platform foundations and the realignment of track in Morley, moving passengers one step closer to a fully accessible station. 
  • March: Completion of a 26-day closure in Stalybridge which saw a full junction remodelling, signalling upgrades and platform work, increasing the reliability of services through the area in the future. 
  • April: Participation in the North West ‘Women in Rail’ event, helping to promote diversity, inclusion and career opportunities. 
  • May: Introduction of TRU’s sustainability strategy, “Our Guiding Compass,” aimed at improving lives across the North. 
  • June: Round-the-clock engineering work at Morley which involved the construction of new platforms, demolition of the old ones, the installation of a new footbridge and a complete signalling re-control to our York operating Centre. 
  • July: Awarded an “Excellent” rating by BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) for the Leeds Station Capacity Project. 
  • August: Launch of the TRUST Centre in Huddersfield by Rail Minister Huw Merriman, marking a significant step in rail safety. 
  • September: The celebration of ‘Routes to Roots: A Platform for Art’ initiative, showcasing artwork created by students at Greenfield Station. 
  • October: Staff on the Hope Valley Railway Upgrade helped residents in Sheffield stem the flow of flood waters by moving ballast bags in place, as Storm Babet swept through the UK. 
  • November: Installation of an overheard gantry and 3km of high voltage cables through the deep Marsh Lane Cutting between Leeds and Neville Hill. 
  • December: A £3.9 billion funding boost, ensuring the progression of key work in 2024 and beyond. 

Neil Holm, Managing Director for TRU said, “I’m immensely proud of the work that has taken place this year and the milestones that we have achieved however, we wouldn’t have been able to complete this without the support of passengers, stakeholders and local communities. Together, we paved the way for an even more promising year next year and I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone involved in this major programme of work.  We look forward to seeing what 2024 has to offer, allowing us to transform rail travel across the North.” 

Chris Nutton, Major Projects Director at TransPennine Express, said: “2023 has been a crucial year in our mission to make rail journeys across the North faster, greener, and more reliable. These major upgrades have impacted our services, and we would like to thank our customers for their understanding and patience, as we work together with our colleagues across the rail industry to transform the railways in the North.” 

Image credit: Network Rail

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