Passengers on the Harrogate line will have a more reliable service as Network Rail completes the resignalling of the route. At the same time a turnback facility is being built at Horsforth to facilitate future increases in rail services.
£16m is being invested to improve the reliability of the route by provision of modern signalling between Kirkstall Viaduct and Harrogate station. Engineers will also build a turnback at Horsforth which will allow Northern Rail to run a shuttle service between Harrogate and Leeds in the future.
Warrick Dent, area manager for Network Rail, said: “The Harrogate line is a real success story and passenger demand is expected to continue to grow. This substantial investment is great news for rail passengers as the new equipment will not only be more reliable but will give provision for future increases in line speed and the possibility for increased services.
“This is just one of many projects we are completing to improve services for passengers in the area. Others include resignalling between South Kirby and Wakefield; and Huddersfield and Bradford; a new southern entrance at Leeds station; a turnback at Micklefield and, in partnerships with local partners, new stations at Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge. “
The signalling work on the Harrogate line involves the installation of new equipment, structures and bases along the route.
Engineers will also install new track, sleepers and ballast for the new turnback close to Horsforth station. Significant earth and drainage works will be completed on the land which was purchased from Leeds City Council. The project is working with Natural England and the Environment Agency. All vegetation which is removed will be replaced with wildlife/railway friendly flora.
Signalling will be transferred from Horsforth and Rigton signal boxes into Harrogate, increasing efficiencies as these boxes close.