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NR suggests cost for TransPennine wiring


26 June 2020

Network Rail has submitted two options to the Government for the TransPennine Upgrade (TRU) programme of the line between Manchester and York via Huddersfield and Leeds.

One option involves the partial electrification of the route and the other full electrification. 

The Government’s preferred option has been partial electrification on cost grounds. 

NR chief executive Andrew Haines told journalists this month that the company’s review of electrification standards had found ways to reduce electrification costs (LTT 12 Jun).  

Newly-released minutes of NR’s board meeting of 30 March, record that members approved the submission of an anticipated final cost estimate for the preferred TRU option and the funding needed to develop it to final business case stage. 

In addition, the board noted that a submission was being made to Government about the indicative cost range and schedule for full route electrification, “which did not constitute a formal offer or commitment by Network Rail”.  

The minutes continue: “With regard to the work being undertaken on the [separate] Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) scheme, it was understood that both the DfT and HM Treasury would take a view on the benefits of progressing all or elements of TRU whilst NPR was under review and development.”

As well as electrification, the TRU programme will feature rebuilding parts of the route. Transport secretary Grant Shapps told MPs last October the upgrade would involve “quite a bit of line closure to get there, which is one of my concerns about it” (LTT 25 Oct 19).

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