Focus on passenger services on trans-Pennine route

There is not enough money for both freight and passenger services on the revamped trans-Pennine route, members of the House of Lords were informed during a debate on January 7.

Lord Berkeley had asked whether proposals by Transport for the North to include capacity and capability for freight services would feature in plans to electrify the Manchester-Leeds route and, if not, what the alternative proposals were.

Baroness Sugg, the Government’s transport spokesman in the Lords, responded: “I absolutely agree that rail freight plays a vital role in transporting our goods around the country and in cutting congestion on our roads.

“Sadly, however, taken together, all the proposals for freight and passengers exceed the amount of work we are able to do over the next five years and, indeed, the £2.9 billion we have allocated.

“Where we are doing electrification work, we will also ensure that it is future-proofed for freight. And we have enhancement works east of Huddersfield which can provide more capacity for freight movements that use the main trans-Pennine route.”

The Government was criticised by Lord Snape for making decisions for the North, rather than devolving to Transport for the North.

Sugg replied: “We absolutely listen to Transport for the North when making these decisions. That is a vital role which it plays for us. We are carefully considering its proposals.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 870, published on January 16, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from January 12.

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  • David silkstone - 08/01/2019 20:35

    Why dont you quadruple the calder valley main line from thornhill L.N.W. JCT to marsden afterall the victorians did that for increasing freight traffic but used the micklehurst loop until the good dr beeching axed that line and then all the bridges were demolished and cuttings tunnels filled in but the 4 track formation still exists as far as the diggle station site this is the only answer i could see to your congestion prob on the transpennine route

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 09/01/2019 23:08

    Why not allow Transpennine Express to take over from Northern and to provide a much better railway in the North of England. Or merge Transpennine Express and Northern franchises together to become 1 big rail franchise in the North of England known as Transpennine Northern Trains/Transpennine Northern Railway (TPNT/TPNR). Or Transpennine Express Northern Trains (TPEXNT/TPXNT) or Transpennine Express Northern Railway (TPEXNR/TPXNR). Similar to Govia Thameslink Railway (TSGN) Thameslink Southern & Great Northern and West Midlands Trains (WMT) (West Midlands Railway (WMR) and London Northwestern Railway (LNR).

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