Upgrades to the Trans-Pennine route between Huddersfield and Dewsbury have been approved by the Secretary of State for Transport.
Network Rail has received Transport and Works Act Order approval for the scheme, which is a major element of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) covering the railway between Manchester, Leeds and York. NR says the approval was received six months earlier than planned.
On the eight-mile stretch the number of tracks will be doubled from two to four and improvements will be made at four stations. Linespeed on the fast lines will rise to 110mph in places, and the route will be electrified throughout.
At Huddersfield a fourth through platform will be built, requiring the removal of the western section of the trainshed roof, with the smaller trainshed replaced with a new canopy structure spanning platforms 4, 5 and 6. A new bridge with lifts and stairs will supplement the existing subway, while trackwork will be altered both east and west of the station.
Deighton station will gain platforms for stopping services, while Mirfield station will be rebuilt to allow four-tracking, with a footbridge linking to a new island platform on the slow lines and the current platform 3 decommissioned.
Ravensthorpe station is proposed to be relocated 300 metres to the west to allow services from Wakefield to call in addition to those from Leeds, with the current station demolished once the new one is in place. This will allow grade separation courtesy of a flyover at Thornhill Junction, where lines east to Leeds and Wakefield diverge, with four tracks continuing east to Leeds and two to Wakefield.
In connection with this, a new viaduct will be built to the south of the existing alignment over the Calder & Hebble Navigation, Spen Valley Greenway and river Calder to allow a faster linespeed, while a curve at Thornhill Lees is proposed to be straightened. A substation in the Ravensthorpe and Westtown area will provide power for the electrified railway. Viaducts at Huddersfield and Mirfield will be retained but will be four-tracked and electrified, with some strengthening work planned.
TRU has been split into two sections, with the route west of Leeds being upgraded by Network Rail in partnership with Amey, Bam Nuttall, Arup and Siemens.