Multi-billion-pound improvements to rail network will benefit Wakefield

Network Rail has been given the go-ahead to deliver railway improvements in West Yorkshire, including improvements to ease congestion towards Wakefield.

By Tom Coates
Friday, 1st July 2022, 8:37 am
Updated Friday, 1st July 2022, 8:41 am

The Secretary of State for Transport has green-lit a core part of the upgrade work, which involves doubling the number of tracks between Huddersfield and Westtown near Dewsbury.

It is hoped the work will pave the way for more frequent and faster trains running on a cleaner and greener railway between York and Manchester via Leeds and Huddersfield.

A new ‘fly-over’ will be built to separate trains to and from Wakefield from those to and from Leeds, easing congestion.

Neil Holm with Hannah Lomas, the principal programme sponsor.

Improvement plans have been in development for around three years, and the approval of a core part of the work has got the ball rolling on the multi-billion-pound package of upgrades.

Neil Holm, Network Rail’s transpennine route upgrade director, said: "It’s a huge investment.

“It’s one of the biggest infrastructure programmes in the UK now and what it will do is massively improve the level of connectivity.”

It has been estimated that the core upgrade work will be completed in the early 2030s, although it has been claimed that passengers can expect to reap the benefits of the work much earlier.

Mr Holm explained: “It may sound a long time to everybody, but what we intend to do is release progressive benefits to passengers as we complete phases of this programme so passengers will see benefits quite soon.

“I think the main thing passengers are going to see is that we are going to upgrade the stations; that will be the most visible change passengers will see on this programme.”