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  • Electrification in the North

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    Electrification in the north - Header image

    on schedule

    We're electrifying key rail routes across the North to make journeys faster, quieter and more reliable.

    This will improve travel between Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, Blackpool, Leeds and York and is vital in supporting the region’s long-term, low carbon economic growth.

    The first phase between Manchester and Newton-le-Willows was completed in December 2013, electrifying the route between Manchester Airport to Scotland.

  • Which routes are being electrified?

  • NW electrification map

    Click to see full size

  • Manchester to Liverpool, and Huyton to Wigan: by early 2015

    We've modified bridges beteen Newton-le-Willows and Liverpool, and Huyton and Wigan.

    Work is now continuing to install the overhead line equipment to allow electric trains to run between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool, and Liverpool and Wigan, by early 2015.

    Preston to Blackpool: by Winter 2016/17

    A fully electrified route between Preston and Blackpool will connect the area to the West Coast main line, the key rail artery linking the North West with London and Scotland.

    We've upgraded all 15 bridges whilst carrying out safety improvement work to parapets. Overhead line equipment will be installed in 2016/17.

    Bridge modification programme leaflet (PDF)

    Manchester to Preston: by December 2016

    Work to modify the bridges and tunnels will start in the spring of 2014 and continue through 2015. We will also start to install the overhead line equipment.

    The line will be fully electrified by December 2016.

    Oxenholme to Windemere and Wigan to Lostock

    The Department for Transport announced additional funding to electrify these routes in autumn 2013.

    We're currently assessing the structures along the route to understand which need to be modified to allow electrification. The outcome of this work will be discussed with local authorities and stakeholders over the coming months.

    Manchester to Leeds and York

    Funding to electrify the North Transpennine route was announced in November 2011.

    Work has started to modify bridges between Manchester Victoria and Guide Bridge to Stalybridge, which will be fully electrified by December 2016.

    East of Stalybridge, we're assessing the bridges and tunnels between Manchester, Leeds and Colton Junction on the East Coast Main Line to understand which structures need to be modified for electrification. The outcome of this work will be discussed with local authorities and stakeholders over the coming months.

    A fully electrified route will be provided between Manchester, Leeds and York by December 2018, linking up with the electrified lines at Leeds and York.

    Electrificaton milestones

    Northern electrification timeline
    1. December 2013 - Manchester to West Coast Main Line and Newton-le-Willows
    2. Early 2015 - Newton-le-Willows to Liverpool Lime Street; Huyton to Wigan
    3. December 2016 - Manchester Victoria to Preston
    4. Winter 2016/17 - Preston to Blackpool