A £530m investment package to transform rail travel in the north of England through better stations and quicker, more frequent services was unveiled by Network Rail today.
The Northern Hub study identifies what needs to be done to respond to the significant growth seen in the region and to help drive economic prosperity. The plans include:
* A 40% increase in trains per day across the region - 700 extra services
* Capacity for a further 3.5m passengers per year
* Quicker more frequent services for Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield
Iain Coucher, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “Rail is already a massive success story in the north with many thousands of people travelling with us every day and more than 90% of services arriving on time.
“Through better connections, faster services and improved stations we want to trigger wider growth in the north which in turn will support local jobs and businesses. Our ambitious vision includes miles of track, new platforms and electrification to keep driving up passenger demand while keeping freight on the rails – and lorries off of our already congested roads.”
The Northern Hub proposes significant investment in rail over the next 10 years to build on work which is already underway. By removing historic bottlenecks – such as at Manchester - it would allow faster linespeeds, reducing journey times. New track would give greater timetable flexibility – allowing fast trains to overtake and run at speed while still providing space on the network for vital local stopping services and freight.