Consultancies to help modernise Trans-Pennine railway

29 August 2019 2 min. read

An alliance of engineering firm BAM Nuttall and consultancies Arup and Amey are to undertake work to upgrade the railway running from the East to West of the UK. The multi-billion Trans-Pennine Upgrade scheme aims to restore, enhance and rebuild stations across the mountain range’s corridor across the North of England.

Often described as the "backbone of England", the Pennines are a range of mountains and hills in England separating North West England from Yorkshire and North East England. The hills form a more-or-less continuous range in most of Northern England, making the maintenance of the railway lines running through the Trans-Pennine corridor essential for transport across the North of the country.

With this in mind, Network Rail is to begin public consultation this summer on plans to rebuild and electrify the section of the Trans-Pennine corridor between Manchester and York via Leeds. The plans form part of the infrastructure manager’s £2.9 billion Trans-Pennine Upgrade programme, which is intended to modernise the route by adding capacity, partial electrification, deploying ETCS and digital traffic management tools.

Consultancies to help modernise Trans-Pennine railway

A consortium of two consulting firms and an engineering group will undertake the work. BAM Nuttall will collaborate with consultancies Amey and Arup under the West of Leeds Alliance contract first awarded in April 2017. Their work will see a consultation covering the 13 km between Huddersfield and Westtown near Dewsbury, with Network Rail proposing to restore a four-track alignment, while enhancing and rebuilding stations at Huddersfield, Deighton, Mirfield and Ravensthorpe. The first phase of consultation will close in late October, with a second phase to follow in spring 2020.

Kieran Dunkin, Principal Programme Sponsor at Network Rail, said, “The Trans-Pennine Upgrade will deliver more reliability, more trains and more seats, and shorter journey times. The upgrade is approaching the final stages of development, and asking passengers and our neighbours for their feedback on our plans for the section between Huddersfield and Westtown is a significant and important next step in that development process.”

Arup and Amey have worked together on numerous projects before, including a £25 million contract by Highways England to provide major traffic management improvements to a number of junctions along the M1. Since 2015, the two firms worked together to provide a ‘smart’ highway design, evaluating the environmental and end user experience of the changes made to the highway over a period of four years.