Major station upgrades and plans to rebuild and electrify an 8-mile stretch of track have been put forward by Network Rail as part of a public consultation on a major upgrade to the TransPennine route.
The plans form part of the £2.9bn TransPennine Upgrade programme which will ultimately aim to deliver a more reliable railway with more seats, more trains and faster services between Manchester, York, Huddersfield and Leeds.
Network Rail has also suggested doubling the number of tracks from two to four, and proposed a ‘grade separation’ such as a bridge or tunnel at Ravensthorpe.
The public consultation will ask for feedback on the upgrades to the eight-mile section between Huddersfield and Westtown (Dewsbury) from the community and businesses in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.
Kieran Dunkin, principal programme sponsor at Network Rail, said: “The TransPennine Upgrade will deliver the benefits passengers want from their railway with more reliability, more trains and more seats, and shorter journey times.
“The eagerly anticipated upgrade of the TransPennine Route is approaching the final stages of development, and asking passengers and our neighbours for their feedback on our plans for the section between Huddersfield and Westtown is a significant and important next step in that development process.”
Under the proposed plans, the stations at Huddersfield, Deighton, Mirfield and Ravensthorpe will be revamped and major overhaul land electrification work will be carried out.
The first phase of consultation will close in late-October, and once the feedback has been considered the second phase will see a further round of consultation on any changes made.
The feedback given via the consultation will help form part of the Transport and Works Act Order submission that Network Rail will make to the transport secretary in autumn 2020.