UK: An ‘ambitious’ Integrated Rail Plan for the Sheffield City Region was launched by Mayor Dan Jarvis on July 18. The plan was produced by the region’s local authorities supported by organisations including Transport for the North.

The proposals include a Barnsley Dearne Valley station in Goldthorpe on the Northern Powerhouse Rail network, a new main line station in Rotherham, a station at Waverley on the Sheffield – Lincoln line, 7 km of new line to serve Doncaster Sheffield Airport, ‘significant’ enhancement of the stations in Sheffield and Chesterfield, and a rolling programme of station improvements including platform extensions to accommodate inter-city services at Barnsley.

The speed and frequency of trains to Greater Manchester and Leeds would be increased, and the introduction of new passenger and freight services on lightly-used or closed routes is envisaged.

The Supertram light rail network would be ‘future proofed’ with track renewals and new vehicles, with the pilot Sheffield – Rotherham tram-train service made permanent and extended into the Dearne Valley.

Some of the proposals are included in the Sheffield City Region’s Transforming Cities Fund bid, while others already planned by Network Rail or form part of the investment programme being developed by Transport for the North

‘This is a landmark moment for our region’, said Jarvis when the plan was published. ‘For the first time, government, regional partners and our local authorities have come together to welcome a vision for the future of our rail services, creating a plan that will revolutionise rail travel for our communities.’

Jarvis said ‘the most important feature of this plan is that it ties together separate projects such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail into one cohesive whole, enabling people to travel within our region, across the North and nationally in a simple and efficient way.’