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Plans for rail upgrade works in West Yorkshire submitted

Words: Laura Edgar
Huddersfield to Westtown / Network Rail

Network Rail has submitted plans to transform the rail line between Huddersfield and Westtown (Dewsbury), including upgrades to stations at Huddersfield, Deighton, Mirfield and providing a relocated station at Ravensthorpe.

Improvements on the 13km stretch of the line include building new sections of railway outside of the existing network, therefore Network Rail is required to submit a Transport and Works Order Act to the transport secretary.

The planned upgrades also include doubling the number of tracks from two to four so that more trains can run; electrifying the lines to make services “faster”, “more reliable” and “better for the environment”; building a bridge in Ravensthorpe to separate the lines that run to and from Wakefield with those to and from Leeds to help reduce congestion and make journeys more "reliable".

The work is part of the wider Transpennine Route Upgrade, which seeks to transform journeys between Manchester and York via Huddersfield and Leeds. The heritage of the existing railway, historic landmarks and the environment will also be protected.

Neil Holm, TransPennine Route Upgrade director for Network Rail, said: “We know improvements are needed on this section of the line between Huddersfield and Westtown (Dewsbury) and submitting the Transport and Works Order Act is a major milestone in the project to upgrade the route and better connect the North.

“If approved, the project will bring a more reliable railway with more trains, more seats, faster journeys and more choice for passengers.”

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the public has been able to view the plans online instead of at the face-to-face events that were scheduled for spring 2020.

A decision is expected to be made by early 2023 and if successful, work would begin on site that year.

Image credit | Network Rail