SECRETARY OF State for Transport Chris Grayling has granted a Transport and Works Act Order for capacity improvements on the Hope Valley line between Manchester and Sheffield.

The application by Network Rail covers two packages of works, delivering a 1km loop at Bamford capable of accommodating 640-metre-long trains, and the extension of Dore south curve, provision of a second track and platform at Dore & Totley station and improvements to the station. The aim of the improvements is to allow three fast services to run each hour between Manchester and Sheffield, compared to two at present, and to permit stopping services to be doubled in frequency from two-hourly to hourly. The loop at Bamford and second track at Dore would be designed for passenger trains to overtake freight workings, providing additional capacity.In a written answer to a Parliamentary question on 6 March, Rail Minister Jo Johnson said Network Rail had completed the single option design for the proposed scheme and that the timetable for further work would ‘be announced in due course’.