Issue - meetings

TransPennine Route Upgrade Programme

Meeting: 22/06/2023 - Transport for the North Board (Item 5)

5 TransPennine Route Upgrade Programme pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To receive an update on progress with implementation of the Programme.

Lead: Network Rail

Additional documents:


5.1          Members received the report and presentation from the Programme Director, Mr Neil Holm, who highlighted the key points in his presentation.

5.2          The Chair referred to the reference to access plans set out in the presentation.  He noted that between 2024and2027 there are a number of blockades planned, but the number drops dramatically from 2028, and enquired as to is the reason.

Mr. Holm explained that this reflects that the works associated with electrification between Stalybridge and Huddersfield are yet to be finalized; blockades will be required between 2028-31 and will be confirmed in due course. 

The Chair enquired about the apprenticeships, specifically where recruitment will come from, and where the training is taking place.

Mr Holm explained that it is being delivered from a mix of sources including Network Rail and other industrial partners, including the two large alliances which are part of the programme and who have their own apprentice work streams.  Training providers are looking at how they can offer experience with more than one company.  Training will be done either through internal training or through local colleges. 

5.3          Mr. Kennan welcomed the progress on the freight gauge clearance in South Yorkshire. He was pleased that TfN is being active on the issue of making the case for investment that supports rail freight and reinforced the importance of this continuing.   Other members were supportive of Mr Kennan’s comments.

5.4          Cllr Hughes referred to the Stalybridge to Huddersfield section of the line and enquired if any consideration had been given to temporarily relaying the third and fourth tracks on this section.

Mr. Holm stated that there are no such plans due to a combination of the scale of works that would be required and the difficulty in gaining access given the other works required as part of the programme. 

5.5          Mr Mark Rawstrone expressed his support for capturing the scale of social value generated by the programme and asked how much expenditure is dedicated through local supply chains. 

Mr. Holm replied that it is at least 25% of spend is locally sourced but emphasised that efforts continue to increase this.  He added that there is also a significant amount of local employment.  He commented that economic value amounts to £4.3 billion across the life of the project.  He also highlighted that there is a wellbeing measuring tool which examines the impact on lives.



1)   That the presentation be noted


2)   That the Board endorses the importance of work to consider the integration of future infrastructure and timetabled passenger and freight services across the North of England and requests that a separate presentation on this work from Network Rail is arranged for Transport for the North Board Members


3)   That Board supports the next steps for the TRU business case which is a major milestone for the project as it seeks a decision to deliver and secure the funds required for delivery


4)   That the Board supports the funds being identified to enable design and delivery  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5