London: £ 7 billion. Thameslink, £ 18bn. Crossrail, £ 1 billion. for a station. Norden: A number of broken promises

The united call from all over the Nordic region to the government to finally honor its promises on the northern railways is necessary – but not new.

This time, anger revolves around the loss of HS2’s eastern part between Birmingham and Leeds, as well as fears that the Northern Powerhouse Rails Manchester-Leeds line via Bradford has been removed from the integrated railway plan to be announced on Thursday.

The fight is crucial; the familiar sense of injustice.

READ MORE: Choose the Nordic countries: The government must fulfill railway promises

In 2014, George Osborne announced the ‘Northern Hub’, a $ 1 billion infrastructure upgrade. pounds in the north of England called the ‘largest investment in Manchester railways since the Victorian era’.

Including upgrades to Manchester Piccadilly, Oxford Road station and the electrification of the Manchester-Leeds route, many of these projects were aimed at easing the ‘most congested railway section in the country’.




Some projects went ahead, including the Orsall Chord of DKK 85 million. GBP and the electrification from Manchester to Preston.

But unfortunately, the Northern Hub was largely derailed for reasons including poor soil conditions, scrapped contractors, and DfT delays. The resulting infrastructure problems were partly to blame for the 2018 timetable crisis.

Fast-forward to this week, and rail operators are fine-tuning the details of the 2022 roadmaps. Reduced services will continue as they battle the Manchester bottleneck.

Meanwhile, in the south, the government-sponsored Thameslink program of 7 billion. pounds for north-south travel through London, and as far as Brighton is concerned, the budget for Central London’s Crossrail to open next year has risen to more than £ 18bn. and the overhaul of London Bridge station cost £ 1bn.



Manchester is not the only city in need of vital upgrades – experts point to Preston, Stockport, Chester, Sheffield, Doncaster, Leeds, Darlington and Newcastle – and that’s before you even get into the issue of rolling stock.

But as Liam Robinson, chairman of the Rail North Committee, says, this city’s stations and infrastructure are ‘belted’ in the northern network, which ‘must be allowed to do its job’.

Unfortunately, success depends on the government doing their thing first ‘. Here’s a look at their track record.




Manchester Piccadilly Station

Promised: December 2018

Delay: Three years and counts

In the meantime: In 2018, five new platforms were opened as part of Network Rail’s redevelopment of London Bridge station of 1 billion. pound. It can now serve 96 million people a year, up from about 50 million.

In 2014, George Obsorne promised two new platforms at Manchester Piccadilly.

The platforms 15 and 16, which originally cost around £ 300 million, were to be built across Fairfield Street to alleviate congestion, allowing 14 trains through the station every hour as opposed to 10.

Vital, it would help the £ 85m Ordsall Chord – a link between Piccadilly and Victoria, completed as part of the Northern Hub in 2017 – fulfill its potential in increasing capacity and easing the Castlefield bottleneck.

This bottleneck has limited the flow of rail services for years and generated millions of minutes of costly and damaging delays.

This is partly to blame for the 2018 timetable disaster, which left commuters’ lives in disarray.

Also back in 2018 Manchester Evening News asked Network Rail what happened to this plan. They said that the transport and labor law executive order was with DfT, and they ‘awaited a decision’.

While we waited, Transport for the North, an agency for operating transportation infrastructure, was established.

Through the ‘Manchester Recovery Task Force’, they are now developing a plan that includes new platforms at Piccadilly, as well as other measures to ease the bottleneck at Castlefield, taking into account plans for new rail links and HS2.

TfN has pushed very hard as a member of the Task Force for an accelerated work program so that full schedules can be reintroduced.

It is understood that the view in the north is that the project ‘stood still badly’, but that it is now getting the attention it deserves.

But it depends on Thursday’s integrated railway plan how it fits into the Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 – the subject of an ongoing dispute over whether a new station can be built underground – and of course state aid.

Today is Manchester evening news s asked the Ministry of Transport (Dft) to explain the delay and provide a new date.

A spokesman said: “The integrated railway plan will soon outline exactly how major railway projects, including HS2 Phase 2b and other transformation projects such as the Northern Powerhouse Rail, will work together to provide the reliable train services that passengers across the North and Midlands need. and deserves. “



There are a number of ways to complain to Northern Rail

Transpennine Electrification Manchester – Leeds

Promised: December 2018

Delay: Three years and counts

Nu: TBC

In the meantime: The government-sponsored £ 7bn Thameslink program, bringing ‘faster, more frequent, more reliable’ north-south journeys through London ‘has been completed.

The purpose of this upgrade is to cut 15 minutes from the travel time between Manchester and Leeds and greatly increase capacity, and this upgrade has been a desire since 2009 as part of the ‘Northern Hub’.

But the original plan was ‘pause’ in 2015, when an initial budget of £ 260 million rose to £ 600 million after Network Rail ‘failed’.

Patrick McLoughlin, then Secretary of Transportation, said a new plan for works to be completed in 2017 would be even better.

In 2018, Network Rail told Manchester Evening News ‘options had been submitted to DfT for consideration’.

Although it was then planned for 2019, the earthworks did not start until 2021.

The upgrade was to take place in addition to the new Manchester-Leeds route via Bradford, a key line in the £ 39 billion Northern Powerhouse project that was feared to be in jeopardy. Now it seems that the electrified route may be the only option on the table.

But according to experts, both routes are ‘absolutely vital’ to free up the line for more passengers and freight to move between major northern cities, help the country reach net zero by getting more cars off the road and integrating with HS2.

That Manchester Evening News asked DfT about the delay of this project.

A spokesman said: “The integrated railway plan will soon outline exactly how major railway projects, including HS2 Phase 2b and other transformation projects such as the Northern Powerhouse Rail, will work together to provide the reliable train services that passengers across the North and Midlands need. and deserves. “



Oxford Road station

Oxford Road Station

Was promised: December 2018

Delay: Three years and counting

In the meantime: In August, the original entrance to Whitechapel Station, which has a new ticket hall and corridor, was reopened – following a £ 831 million makeover. As part of the Crossrail project, which will create a rail network from east to west across London, the station will almost ‘double its capacity’ when the Elizabeth line opens next year.

That Manchester Evening News first saw architectural plans for Oxford Road Station back in 2015, with platform expansions to increase capacity among them.

This work was described as crucial to alleviate the congestion of local commuter services feeding cities and towns around the region. That’s the key to the Sheffield route to Manchester Airport and services from Liverpool, which fall under the bottleneck.

The upgrade of the listed building also included a pedestrian connection on a new sidewalk and a well-lit, protected walkway connecting the area with First Street and the station with Home.

Network Rail said in 2018 that the labor law executive order awaited approval from DfT.

Like the Manchester Piccadilly upgrade, improvements to Oxford Road are now being considered along with a host of measures to improve services, including major east and west junctions, by the Manchester Recovery Taskforce.

It is understood that the task force is “ready and willing” to testify as to why these upgrades are so important.

It is an important consideration if a full rail timetable – which has been reduced to stop delays and cancellations – is to be reintroduced.

Once again, any work on Oxford Road now needs to be considered along with HS2 and NPR, and is therefore dependent on the integrated railway plan coming out on Thursday.

That Manchester Evening News asked DfT about the delay of this project.

A spokesman said: “The integrated railway plan will soon outline exactly how major railway projects, including HS2 Phase 2b and other transformation projects such as the Northern Powerhouse Rail, will work together to provide the reliable train services that passengers across the North and Midlands need. and deserves. “




Hope Valley Scheme – Manchester-Sheffield track improvements

Was promised: December 2018

Delay: Three years

Planned to meet the demand for travel between Manchester and Sheffield.

The work is to improve parts of the railway close to Dore & Totley station, and between Bamford and Hathersage stations.

A new ‘passing loop’ plus track widening would allow faster trains to overtake slower freight trains.

It would allow for three fast trains per hour instead of two.

Network rail said in 2018 that they were awaiting approval from the Department of Transportation.

It is understood that this scheme is ‘progressing now’.

A spokesman for DfT said: “The integrated railway plan will soon outline exactly how major railway projects, including HS2 Phase 2b and other transformation projects such as the Northern Powerhouse Rail, will work together to provide the reliable train services that passengers across the North and Midlands have. need and deserve. “

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