UK: The Secretary of State for Transport has approved a Transport & Works Act order granting Network Rail powers to undertake the Huddersfield to Westtown (Dewsbury) Improvement Scheme, which forms part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade.
The scheme covers a 13 km section of the trans-Pennine corridor between Manchester and York via Leeds. It includes an increase from two to four tracks, 25 kV 50 Hz electrification, construction of a flyover near Ravensthorpe to separate the Leeds and Wakefield lines, major renovations at Huddersfield, Deighton, Mirfield stations and a new station at Ravensthorpe.
A TWA order was needed because the project involves building new sections of railway outside of the existing boundaries, and Network Rail said the application for the ‘mammoth’ scheme was one of the largest it had made.
The order was approved on June 27, six months ahead of schedule, after three years of planning and consultation including a public inquiry.
‘Work on this part of the route is essential for unlocking wider benefits for passengers travelling between York and Manchester via Leeds and Huddersfield’, said Neil Holm, Transpennine Route Upgrade Director for Network Rail. ‘Now we have this approval, we can progress our ambitious plans and designs and continue to work with communities on what’s to come.’