A blueprint for connecting the Northern Powerhouse
Liverpool and the north west
Liverpool to Manchester
Network Rail has electrified 32 miles of track between Liverpool and Manchester, and Northern have started running four-car electric trains which have been completely revitalised. These trains have a new look with refreshed and modernised interiors and improved seating for a more comfortable journey.
The platforms at Liverpool Lime Street station will be lengthened, remodelled and the signalling will be modernised in order to allow for more and longer trains from London and across the region.
In May 2014, TransPennine Express started running direct non-stop services between Liverpool and Manchester Victoria every hour in under 35 minutes.
Newly installed tracks between Huyton and Roby stations will allow fast trains to overtake slower trains to enable 2 fast train per hour to run along this route.
Liverpool to Wigan
The track between Liverpool and Wigan has been electrified. This will enable new four-car electric services between Liverpool and Preston by the end of the year and will free up existing diesel trains to create additional capacity elsewhere on the north’s network.
Manchester to Preston
Advance works are already underway to electrify the track between Manchester and Bolton. This includes an important stepping stone to an electrified railway: the reconstruction of Farnworth tunnel. The existing tunnels are too small for the overhead lines, so we need to make one of them bigger.
Alongside electrification, we are undertaking comprehensive line speed works to enable faster, longer trains to run between Manchester and Preston. This will provide more capacity and quicker direct links between cities and towns across the north of England.
At Bolton, platform 5 will be brought into public use to increase the capacity, flexibility and performance of the station and train service.
So far Network Rail has rebuilt 13 road bridges, 4 footbridges and an aqueduct between Preston and Manchester ahead of electrification.
Preston to Blackpool
A fully electrified route between Preston and Blackpool will allow electric trains to run from Blackpool North to the West Coast Main Line, the key rail artery linking the north west with London and Scotland. Alongside electrification, track and re-signalling work will improve reliability and enable quicker journeys.
Oxenholme to Windermere
The 10 mile line, which runs between Oxenholme Lake District station on the West Coast Main Line and Windermere station in the National Park, will be upgraded to allow electric trains to run on the route.
Once completed, the line will form part of a direct electrified route between Manchester (including the Airport station), Kendal and Windermere.
Bolton to Blackburn
An additional track is being installed for 1 mile either side of Darwen Station to provide the necessary capacity for a more reliable, frequent service throughout the day between Manchester and Blackburn.
Wigan to Bolton
The line between Wigan and Bolton will be electrified enabling electric trains to run via Bolton between Wigan and Manchester Victoria and also Wigan and Manchester Airport.
This important link will enable longer electric trains to run to more destinations.
West Coast Main Line
Following the electrification of the link from the West Coast Main Line to Manchester Airport in December 2013, TransPennine Express began providing electric train services from Manchester Airport to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
New four-car electric train services between Liverpool and Preston will run by the end of the year. This will free up existing diesel trains to create additional capacity elsewhere on the north’s network.
We will upgrade the M56 J6 to J8 to a smart motorway with hard shoulder running. Alongside the other improvements we are making in the area, this will help reduce journey times and forms part of a comprehensive upgrade to Manchester’s southern access.
Work to create a new junction halfway between J11 and J12 on the M56 will mean easier access to Daresbury, the 3MG freight distribution park and the science and technology park, helping businesses get their products distributed quicker.
These improvements will also improve access from north Wales, Cheshire and Merseyside to Manchester Airport.
We will upgrade J10 to J12 to a smart motorway, linking with the M60 smart motorway schemes to the east and M6 schemes to the west. This will improve safety, reduce congestion and improve journey times.
A new dual carriageway will improve journey times, capacity, local air quality and reduce traffic noise.
We are upgrading access to the Port of Liverpool so that regional businesses can get their products to export markets more efficiently.
J5 to J11 will be upgraded to a smart motorway. Improved journey times and reliability will help to connect towns and communities throughout the Wirral and West Cheshire.
J21a to J26 and J16 to J19 will be upgraded to a smart motorway and J21a to J22 will be widened to 4 lanes, this will reduce congestion and improve journey times between London and the north west.
Upgrades to J19 will reduce congestion, improve traffic flow and reduce accident risk, helping people to get around.
Improvement of the A556 road between Knutsford and Bowdon will create a modern dual carriageway road, improving journey times between Birmingham and the south of England with Manchester, Manchester Airport and the north of England.
There will also be new routes for pedestrians and cyclists.
Manchester and cross-Pennines
Manchester Piccadilly station
Subject to necessary consents, 2 new platforms, 15 and 16, will allow more trains to run through the city centre rather than terminate in Manchester, providing more direct train services across the north.
Manchester Oxford Road station
Subject to necessary consents, the railway viaduct will be widened and platforms lengthened to enable longer, more frequent trains along this busy route. Remodelling the station will facilitate increased passenger volumes and improve the passenger experience.
Manchester Victoria station
Historic Manchester Victoria station is being transformed into a transport interchange that is safer, brighter and more spacious with improved station facilities and the restoration of the architectural features of the Edwardian buildings.
A new roof has transformed Manchester Victoria into a modern, fitting gateway to the city. Significant improvements to the station concourse will support increased passenger numbers and an additional platform now serves the Manchester Metrolink tram system.
Manchester Airport station
A fourth platform has been built to support future capacity increases and facilitate greater connectivity to and from the airport. New track and signalling were installed along with platform improvements such as new CCTV and information screens.
The Ordsall Chord will connect all of the main Manchester stations. This will help ease a rail bottleneck to the south of Piccadilly station and enable direct services to run across the north of England.
The chord will allow airport services to serve Manchester Victoria and reduce congestion at Piccadilly, as well as open up direct access to towns in east Lancashire and west Yorkshire from the airport.
Electrification and improvements to the North TransPennine line are being planned to deliver 6 fast trains per hour alongside shorter journey times on the Manchester-Leeds-York corridor.
Works are planned at Huddersfield Station to allow for additional capacity for eight-car trains to operate on cross-Pennine inter-urban services, and four-car trains to/from Leeds and Manchester and three-car trains between Huddersfield and Sheffield.
Increased capacity on the line will allow more terminating services between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale and deliver journey time improvements.
Manchester to Sheffield
Subject to necessary consents, plans to introduce faster, more frequent services on the route between Manchester and Sheffield will be enabled by improving sections of railway in the Hope Valley close to Dore & Totley station, and between Bamford and Hathersage stations.
This could deliver:
- 3 fast trains per hour, instead of 2, between Manchester and Sheffield
- an hourly local stopping service, instead of 1 every 2 hours, on the Hope Valley line during the daytime on week days
Work to widen the roundabout at J26 on the M62 from 3 to 4 lanes will improve traffic flow and reduce queuing on the M62 westbound exit slip road.
This will improve journeys to Hull, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and in particular, between Leeds and Bradford.
Work will help to keep traffic flowing by creating smart motorways across the Pennines from Rochdale to Brighouse, linking 2 existing smart motorway sections to create a continuous smart route from Leeds to Manchester.
We are developing options for 2 eastbound overtaking lanes on the A628 near Woodhead Bridge and near Salter’s Brook Bridge.
Work will complete the dualling of the A61 between the A616 roundabout and J36 of the M1A628. This will increase capacity, reduce congestion and improve journey times.
Mottram Moor Link Road
Work will create a new dual carriageway from the M67 terminal roundabout to a new junction at A58(T) Mottram Moor. There will also be a new single carriageway from the A57 at Mottram Moor to a new junction on the A57 at Brookfield, bypassing the existing A628/A57. This will keep traffic flowing and reduce the environmental impact on the Peak District National Park.
The south eastern section of the M60 will be upgraded to a smart motorway, this will reduce congestion and keep traffic flowing. This will help improve journeys around the Greater Manchester area.
J8 to J18 on the M60 will be upgraded to a smart motorway and there will be smart motorways with all lanes running on the M62 between J18 to J20. This will reduce congestion, keep traffic flowing and improve journey times.
Leeds and the north east
Leeds to York and Hull
To the east of Leeds, signalling and track works will enable more trains to operate between Leeds and York in order to accommodate the projected growth in train services and improve journey times.
We have plans to electrify the line between the East Coast Main Line, Selby and Hull by 2024 as promoted by First Hull Trains, subject to confirmation of the business case and an acceptable contribution from First Hull Trains.
A new entrance is under construction to the south of Leeds Station to serve the expanding commercial area south of the River Aire. This will greatly improve access from the city centre south of the railway.
Additional works at Leeds Station will also include a programme of platform extensions to allow longer and more trains to operate on a number of routes in west and south Yorkshire into Leeds and Sheffield.
East Coast Main Line
The Intercity Express Programme is a £5.7 billion renewal of the UK’s high speed train fleet that will deliver more seats, more trains, enhanced reliability and faster journeys on the East Coast Main Line from 2018. The nine-car trains have 18% more seats than the Intercity 225 trains that they are replacing. In combination with more services the programme will increase in the number of seats in the morning peak into Kings Cross by circa 28%.
Network Rail are on site now at Doncaster station building a new platform. Wider works including re-signalling which will unlock capacity on the East Coast Main Line and de-conflict train paths to increase reliability.
In Newcastle, £22 million is being spent a major upgrade to transform the station building and surrounding area. The improvements have to date involved creating a new pedestrianised space at the front of the station and building a new travel centre with better toilet facilities and clearer signs. There are also new cycle storage facilities, improved road, cycle and taxi access to the station, and the number of shops at the station has doubled.
Midland Main Line
We are undertaking significant work on the Midland Main Line in order to increase capacity and facilitate a 6th East Midlands franchise service per hour to operate in to and out of St Pancras. This is turn will allow an even interval timetable and faster services.
These works include:
- doubling the track between Kettering to Corby - this is currently under construction and will increase capacity on the line
- the Kettering to Bedford capacity scheme will enable more trains to run on this section and increase reliability of the train service
- planned improvements north of Derby, including the re-modelling of Derby station and re-signalling works, will increase the line speed, shorten journey times and improve reliability
- a platform lengthening project at Wellingborough, Kettering and Market Harborough will enable longer trains to run
- line speed improvements are planned at Market Harborough to reduce journey times
Work on the A1 will include:
- providing 13 miles of upgrade to dual the carriageway linking the Morpeth and Alnwick bypasses with the dual carriageway near Ellingham
- creating 3 narrow lanes and improving lane merges between A1 J74 to J79 (Scottswood to North Brunton)
- improvements to J65 to J67 including the realignment, widening and replacement of Allerdene Bridge and a new junction at Coalhouse
- new road technology between A1 and A19 such as variable message signs, giving valuable information to drivers
- upgrading lane capacity between A1 Coalhouse - Metro Centre from 2 to 3 lanes in each direction
- upgrading the A1 Leeming to Barton to a three-lane motorway
This work will improve journey times in the area and between London and major urban centres in the north of England and Scotland.
Work on the A19 will include:
- a new flyover over the Testos junction to keep traffic moving
- upgrading the roundabout on Coast Road to increase capacity
- a new junction at A19 Downhill Lane to allow faster journeys and better access to local businesses
- widening the stretch between Norton and Wynyard to 3 lanes
This work will ease access to local areas, businesses and the Port of Tyne, allowing businesses move their products from A to B and helping people get around.
Work will increase capacity on the A63 at Castle Street and there will be improvements at the A1079 Mytongate junction in Hull.
This will keep traffic flowing to the city centre and Port of Hull, enabling better freight movements and improving routes to international markets.
We will provide better access to the Port of Immingham and the surrounding area by improving the A160 between the junction with the A180 at Brocklesby interchange and the port.
Work on the M1 will include:
- improvements to J45 to reduce congestion and ease access to the Aire Valley Enterprise Zone which is expected to deliver 7,000 jobs by 2031
- upgrading J28 to J31, J32 to J35a and J39 to J42 to smart motorways
This work will keep traffic flowing and provide better access for businesses and to future jobs.
We will improve access to the centre of Leeds by providing junction improvements and extra lanes between J1 to J7.