Yorkshire’s new electric railway set to cut carbon and slash journey times
Posted: 12 July 2022 | Elliot Robinson (Editorial Assistant - Global Railway Review) | No comments yet
The first miles of new electrical overhead wires are now up in Yorkshire for the first time in over 25 years, it is the first step in a cleaner and faster journey for passengers.
Rob McIntosh, Managing Director for Network Rail's Eastern region, next to the first new electric overhead wires on a mainline in Yorkshire for 25 years. Credit: Network Rail
Network Rail have announced that the first miles of new electric overhead wires on a mainline in Yorkshire for over 25 years are now up, marking a step-change in progress for the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade. A video of the electrical overhead wires being installed overnight can be seen at the bottom of the page.
This monumental scheme, initially working its way from York to Church Fenton, is set to re-energise train travel for passengers across the north of England. It is the first step towards a cleaner, greener, fully electrified railway between York, Leeds, Huddersfield, and Manchester.
When complete, across the full 76-mile route, rail passengers will be helping to save up to 87,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, equivalent to 5.9 million car journeys along the same route. For people living near the railway, it will also mean better air quality and quieter trains. It’s the first of ten miles of electric wiring set to be installed between Church Fenton and Colton Junction, where trains from Leeds join the East Coast Main Line towards York, by the end of the year. It’s one of the busiest stretches of railway in the north, with over 100 trains passing through each day.
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“This is a huge moment for the Transpennine Route Upgrade and really represents the forward shift we’ve seen in recent months,” Rob McIntosh, Managing Director for Network Rail’s Eastern Region, said. “This first major milestone in York promises a cleaner, greener future where passengers in the north of England can confidently rely on the railway to get them to where they need to be in good time.”
Work began on the York to Church Fenton electrification scheme in October 2019, and to date has delivered:
- 17 kilometres of new, more reliable track, ready to run faster trains
- An innovative 65-metre-wide under-track crossing
- 270 new steel masts, which carry the overhead electric wires
When the new wires are energised, they will allow more environmentally friendly hybrid trains to run along this section at speeds of up to 125mph, 30mph faster than they currently run. To maintain an equally eco-friendly construction, the new equipment was built nearby at the brand-new Joseph Lynn Logistics Hub in Sherburn-in-Elmet, before being transported to site by train.
The video of the electrical overhead wires being installed overnight is below.