Two of the north’s most important economic centres are about to become better connected thanks to a £137 million investment plan for the route linking Manchester and Stockport with Sheffield.
Work is expected to begin in 2022 and is due to be completed in 2023. The upgrade aims to increase capacity on the route and improve connectivity between Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire.
The Hope Valley line run from Manchester to Sheffield, passing through Stockport and communities in the Peak District. The investment will aim to remove bottlenecks on the route, creating places for passenger services to overtake slow-moving freight trains, increasing reliability and allowing for more services to operate along the route.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:
I am delighted to confirm £137 million for this scheme to remove bottlenecks on the Hope Valley line, transforming journeys between Sheffield and Manchester – 2 dynamic Northern Powerhouse cities.
“We are committed to levelling up infrastructure across the North, and these important upgrades will make a huge difference to passengers, providing the punctual, reliable services they deserve, as we build back better from COVID-19.”
Network Rail is currently finalising designs to improve sections of the Hope Valley Line in Bamford and Hathersage in Derbyshire, as well as at Dore & Totley station in South Yorkshire. Signalling design work will also take place at the same time as the tendering process for the works in order to accelerate their delivery.
The upgrades to the Sheffield line will also be considered as the Manchester Recovery Taskforce looks to make changes to services in Greater Manchester to improve reliability of services travelling through the city-region.