Major railway upgrades between Manchester and Stalybridge will take place as part of the multi-billion-pound scheme.
Network Rail will install new trackside columns – which will eventually carry train-powering electric wires – renew 1.6km of track and upgrade the signalling equipment over the next few weeks and months.
Two bridges in Ashton-under-Lyne – Southampton Street and Granville Street – will also be upgraded by Network Rail and its TRU alliance partners. Raising the height of both bridges will eventually allow electric wires to pass beneath them, making way for a cleaner, greener railway in the future.
The TRU aims to deliver faster, longer, more frequent and more reliable services across the north of England, from Newcastle, Hull and York towards Manchester and Liverpool via Leeds. The route covers 122km of track, eight tunnels, 15 viaducts, 25 stations and 270 bridges.
An alliance of Amey, Bam Nuttall and Arup is delivering the route upgrade to the West of Leeds. Meanwhile, an alliance with VolkerRail, Murphy and Siemens is carrying out work on the eastern leg of the TRU.
The overall cost of the entire scheme is estimated to be between £2.9bn and £3.1bn.
Sections of the railway will need to be closed to carry out the upcoming work, with buses and diversions in place throughout weekends in February, March, April and May – with more work planned for later in the year.
Network Rail principal programme sponsor Hannah Lomas said: “These major upgrades will bring us another step closer to delivering a fully electrified, more modern railway for the future. This work is part of the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade which will bring passengers more frequent, faster, greener trains.
“We’ve worked closely with our train operating colleagues to make sure passengers can still travel to wherever they’re headed, and I’d advise anyone wishing to travel to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journey.”
In July 2020, the government announced £589M of additional funding to kickstart the programme to enable contract awards for the next phase of design activity and engineering work in Greater Manchester this summer.
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