As of today train customers and taxpayers will benefit from the Great North Rail Project (GNRP), the largest upgrade since Victorian times
Working together, Northern, TransPennine Express, Network Rail, Rail North, Rail Delivery Group and the Department for Transport (DfT) are investing billions of pounds of improvements as part of the UK’s Railway Upgrade Plan to revolutionise train travel across the north of England.
Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), said: “Working together, Britain’s rail companies are delivering the investment and improvement that passengers want and which drives economic growth across towns and communities across the North. More trains on the key routes serving our biggest cities will provide benefits for generations to come.”
David Hoggarth, director of Rail North, speaking on behalf of all Great North Rail Project members, said: “GNRP is creating opportunities for people across the north by bringing its towns and cities closer together with faster, more reliable train services. Businesses now have larger talent pools to choose from. New jobs are being created. New possibilities are emerging.”
By 2020, there is expected to be over 2,000 extra services a week, 500 new carriages with space for 40,000 more passengers a day. Brand-new or refurbished trains will have better on-board entertainment and catering facilities, and all of the out-dated Pacer trains will be gone.
By 2022, around 27,000 new jobs are forecasted to have been created in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, connecting people in the communities on the rail routes that serve them with new opportunities, according to the latest analysis by the RDG.
Next year, customers can look forward to improved journeys as upgrades between Manchester and Blackpool, via Bolton and Preston are completed. More improvements will follow in 2019 and 2020.
Other major Great North Rail Project schemes include the new Ordsall Chord which, from December 2017, will link Manchester’s main stations enabling new journeys across the north. Customers as far afield as Newcastle, Bradford and Rochdale, will benefit from faster, more frequent journeys to Manchester Airport.
Network Rail, Rail North and the DfT are also developing options for significant upgrades to the Transpennine route between Manchester and York/Selby, to deliver better services for passengers. Options will be submitted to the DfT in December this year.