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Timetables and travel
Our Railway's Future
Railway & Track
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High speed rail
Reducing track noise
Railway Communications System
North West electrification
Great Western electrification
We are electrifying key rail routes across the North to make journeys faster, quieter and more reliable.
It will improve travel between key cities in the North including Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, Blackpool, Leeds and York and is vital in supporting the region’s long-term, low carbon economic growth.
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The first phase of work between Manchester and Newton-le-Willows is well underway, connecting Manchester and the West Coast Main Line. This will provide for direct electric train services from Manchester and Manchester Airport to Lancashire, Cumbria and Scotland. We have modified bridges and upgraded parapets along the route and throughout 2012/13 will be installing the overhead line equipment.
The first phase of the North West Electrification scheme has been awarded funding via the Trans-European Transport Network programme (TEN-T). This initiative identifies priority routes across Europe and is targeted at improving capacity and environmental impact on the rail network.
Last year, we modified bridges between Manchester and Liverpool, via Newton-le-Willows, and the work is now progressing westwards to Liverpool. We have also lowered track and reconstructed bridges between Huyton and Wigan whilst modifying bridge parapets to increase safety levels.
These lines are due to be electrified by December 2014.
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.
To prepare for electrification we need to upgrade bridges and tunnels whilst carrying out safety improvement work to parapets. 15 bridges need to be modified on this route, including:
Overhead line equipment on this route will be installed in 2014/15/16.
Download our leaflet about the bridge modification programme (PDF)
We are currently at the planning stages for the Manchester to Preston line.
We hope to start preparatory work on the bridges and tunnels in 2014 and 2015 with a view to installing the overhead line equipment shortly afterwards.
The line will be fully electrified by December 2016.
Funding to electrify the North Transpennine route was announced in November 2011.
We are currently carrying out an assessment of 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. Once complete, a fully electrified route will be provided between Manchester, Leeds and York.
Once complete, this will link up with the already electrified line between Leeds and York.