Skip to content

York to Church Fenton Improvement Scheme

We’re upgrading the route between York and Church Fenton to provide a more reliable and resilient railway for passengers

Train at Church Fenton station
Work between York and Church Fenton will provide more capacity and faster journeys

Our work between York and Church Fenton is in preparation for the Transpennine Upgrade, which will provide more capacity and faster journeys between Manchester Victoria and York, via Leeds and Huddersfield.

The five mile stretch between Church Fenton and Colton Junction – the major junction where trains from Leeds join the East Coast Main Line towards York – sees over 100 trains each day, with up to one freight or passenger train passing through every five minutes. This is one of the busiest stretches of railway in the North.

Our work


Signal icon

Most of the signalling in this area is outdated and needs replacing. That’s why we are installing new signal gantries, lights and cabling.

Track replacement

Digger icon

We are replacing old rail, sleepers, and ballast (the stones under the track) between Holgate (York) and Colton Junction. ​To clean and replace this old ballast our teams use a modern train called a Ballast Cleaning System (BCS). 


Electrification icon

Through electrification of the route, our improvements between York and Church Fenton will pave the way for a more eco-friendly railway, enabling new and improved hybrid trains to run under electric transmission.​

Our Monthly Project Tracker

We’re pleased to launch our monthly project tracker, which is designed to give you a better overview of upcoming work as we continue to improve the railway between York and Church Fenton. These can be downloaded below.

Our Passenger and Community information

Information for passengers

This route is a key artery for passengers in the North, connecting York and Leeds, and allowing passengers to travel further afield to Huddersfield, Manchester and Liverpool. That’s why we understand that timely communication must be one of our top priorities.

Some of our work will require the timetable to be amended at certain points, with rail replacement buses in place where required. Any changes to trains will be advertised at local stations and by train operators well in advance. Our advice throughout the work is to check before you travel.

Information for the community

Due to the nature of the work, people living near the railway are likely to experience some noise and disruption; however, although work is scheduled for the next three years, we won’t be working at every location all the time.

We will write to those who may be affected beforehand, detailing the specific dates and times of any disruptive work.

An electrified railway brings many benefits but comes with its own risks. 25,000 volts of electricity will be running through the overheard lines at all times. That’s why we will engage with the community, station users, and local schools to help the public – especially young children – understand the added dangers an electrified railway can bring.

Passengers at station icon

Our latest notifications

Contact us

If you have any questions regarding our York to Church Fenton Improvements, or any associated schemes, please contact our 24-hr Network Rail national helpline on 03457 11 41 41 or visit our contact us page.

Together we can end domestic abuse