Alliances for trans-Pennine

NETWORK RAIL has awarded contracts to two alliances to deliver the upgrade of the trans-Pennine route between York and Manchester.

NR has formed an alliance with Amey, BAM Nuttall and Arup to design infrastructure options for the route west of Leeds, covering upgrades to civils, track, railway systems and electrification.

The company says this follows on from the wider rail enhancements on the Leeds to York section, for which a contract was awarded in October 2014 to an alliance with VolkerRail, J. Murphy & Sons and Siemens.

NR says it is working collaboratively with the alliances from the earliest stages on the development of potential infrastructure options for the upgrade of the route, with options to be submitted to the Department for Transport for consideration in December. The route was due to be fully electrified between Manchester and York, but Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has recently suggested it would not be necessary to do this, with the use of bi-mode trains negating the need to erect wires through more challenging sections.