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Transpennine Route geared up for greener journeys as first electric wires now in place

More than 30 miles of electric wires are now in place as part of the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route upgrade – helping to deliver cleaner, greener journeys in the future.

The work took place where the route meets the East Coast Main Line into York, which, considering its proximity to Leeds, is one of the busiest areas of railway activity in the North – more than 100 trains use the line each day.

Not only is this a significant improvement from an environmental perspective, however, it also allows trains to run 30mph faster than they are currently able to. It means that electric or bi-modal trains can now run at speeds of up to 125mph.

Rob McIntosh, Managing Director for Network Rail’s Eastern region said: “We’ve reached a major milestone on our journey to bring cleaner, greener trains to the north and deliver a better railway which people can rely on.

“Our teams in York and Manchester are working in tandem to electrify sections of the route and will eventually connect to unlock faster, more frequent services and help passengers get to where they need to be, on time.”

Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “Our multi-billion pound Transpennine Route upgrade will transform journeys for passengers across the North of England, with faster, more frequent services and improved accessibility.

“This is the first major milestone on the way to a fully electrified route between York, Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester, which will reduce journey times and save 87,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.”


The work itself too just under 9,000 hours to install the 37 miles-worth of overhead wire. It is part of the project to complete the full 70-mile route across the Pennines, which in turn will reduce carbon emissions by up to 87,000 tonnes every year. That is an equivalent of 5.9million car journeys along the same route.

Constructed locally in the Route Upgrade’s own Joseph Lynn Logistics Hub near Sherburn-in-Elmet, it was transported to site by train to reduce the traffic impact locally.

The lines will be energised in 2024.

Photo and video credit: Network Rail

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