Construction work begins on £137m Hope Valley rail line upgrade

Construction work has now started on the £137million Hope Valley Railway Upgrade, which transport planners say will remove several bottlenecks between Manchester and Sheffield to allow faster and more reliable passenger services.

By Ed Dingwall
Friday, 1st April 2022, 3:47 pm

The primary aim of the project is to make it possible for passenger trains to overtake slower freight trains along the line, with a loop being created between Bamford and Hathersage to separate out the traffic flow and signalling improvements along the line.

There will also be a second track laid through Dore & Totley station, along with a new platform and accessible footbridge, and another new overbridge at Hathersage West, replacing the current foot crossing to improve safety.

Hannah Lomas, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Upgrading the Hope Valley line will reimagine the way that passenger and freight trains interact, helping to boost reliability for passengers between Manchester and Sheffield.

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Rail minister Andrew Stephenson, second left, and High Peak MP Robert Largan, centre, on site with rail contractors.

“Over the next two years, we’ll be carrying out a range of improvements along the route which will bring about a safer, more accessible railway with a better layout.”

She added: “We’ve been having important conversations with the community throughout the project and will continue to as work starts on site. I’m looking forward to seeing the enhancements come to life so that passengers can begin to feel the benefits.”

After several years in the planning stages, Government funding was confirmed in March 2021, the construction phase began on time, and the first piece of work that requires the railway to be closed will take place on the last weekend in May 2022.

More information will be shared with passengers and the wider community ahead of particularly disruptive sections of the project.

Transport minister Andrew Stephenson MP recently visited the first site of the first works, accompanied by High Peak MP Robert Largan who is still pushing to get the line electrified along its whole length to support more environmentally friendly trains.

Mr Stephenson said: “This upgrade is going to make the line more resilient and allow more regular services, so loads of real benefits for people in High Peak.”

Mr Largan added: “This investment in our railways—combined, of course, with the £228m new Mottram Bypass and Glossop Spur Road—represents the biggest investment in transport infrastructure in the High Peak in my lifetime.”

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