- £137million investment to deliver more capacity and improve connectivity between Sheffield and Manchester
- Hope Valley Scheme set to remove bottlenecks and improve performance by creating places for fast passenger services to overtake slower freight trains
- Part of Government commitment to level up infrastructure in the North
Journeys are set to be transformed for northern passengers thanks to £137million of Government investment that will deliver more capacity and improve connectivity between Sheffield and Manchester.
To help meet future demand, the Hope Valley capacity scheme is designed to removed bottlenecks on the line by creating places for fast passenger services to overtake slower moving freight trains, allowing more trains to run and increasing the reliability of services.
Network Rail is now finalising detailed designs that will improve sections of the railway between Bamford station and Jaggers Lane Bridge in Hathersage, and around Dore & Totley station where a second platform will also be added. Work is expected to begin in 2022 and will be completed in 2023.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:
“I am delighted to confirm £137 million for this scheme to remove bottlenecks on the Hope Valley line, transforming journeys between Sheffield and Manchester – two dynamic Northern Powerhouse cities.
“We are committed to levelling up infrastructure across the North, and these important upgrades will make a huge difference to passengers, providing the punctual, reliable services they deserve, as we build back better from Covid-19.”
As part of this project, Network Rail will continue to look at ways to speed up the start of the work, as they have done so in earlier stages by carrying out signalling design work at the same time as the tendering process as well as liaising with train and freight operating companies to agree any changes to the network that may be required during construction.
Planning for the additional fast service through the Hope Valley scheme is being considered as part of work being carried out by the Manchester Recovery Taskforce (MRTF) which is looking at a range of options over the decade to improve performance in and around Manchester.