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Published on : Friday, November 11, 2016
As part of the programme, Network Rail, supported by train operators TransPennine Express (TPE) and Northern, has announced that changes expected in December 2017, a key milestone in service development in the north, will be delivered in phases to enable the fastest possible deployment of a series of major improvements to services.
The Northern Programmes will transform rail transport in the north delivering more trains with more spaces to more towns and cities. From December 2017 there will be improved services, including electric trains with more space for customers running between Manchester and Preston via Bolton.
There will also be new direct services to Manchester Airport from across the north enabled by the Ordsall Chord, a vital new rail link connecting Manchester’s three main stations, Victoria, Piccadilly and Oxford Road, for the first time, as well as new connections into Manchester from the Calder Valley.
Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s London North Western route MD, said: “Rail investment in the north is at its highest level right now since tracks were first laid in the 1800s.
“Already customers in the north are benefitting from faster, more frequent, more reliable trains services. And there is a host of further improvements still to come. Seeing the economy-boosting Northern Programmes unfold is really exciting.”
Alex Hynes, Managing Director for Northern said: “This programme will deliver transformational improvements to the services we offer our customers. The phased approach will enable us to launch new services, such as new direct routes into Manchester, as infrastructure upgrades are delivered.”
Leo Goodwin, Managing Director for TransPennine Express commented: “Investment in our railway is vital to improving the North’s connectivity, bringing our towns and cities closer and in turn improving our customer’s journeys with us. These improvements will help to provide additional and faster services, transforming rail travel across the North and into Scotland.”
Rail North Director David Hoggarth said: “The Northern Programmes represents the start of a transformation of rail services across the north. Both Rail North and Transport for the North are clear that this type of long term investment in transport is exactly what is needed to drive economic growth. In a project of this scale, there will be challenges, but the rewards this project will bring will last for generations to come.”