Penistone Line: Joy as popular railway route between Sheffield and Huddersfield wins £48m for upgrades

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The money is from the Network North project funded by cash from scrapping HS2 between Birmingham and Manchester

Train passengers are celebrating after the Government announced £48m for a Sheffield rail line upgrade.

The Penistone line from Sheffield to Huddersfield is set to have new track layouts and signalling to improve journey times and reliability, and upgrades to stations to improve integration with buses and cycle paths.

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A Northern train on the Penistone Line which has won £48m for uprgrades. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe.A Northern train on the Penistone Line which has won £48m for uprgrades. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
A Northern train on the Penistone Line which has won £48m for uprgrades. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe. | National World

The money is part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda and comes from the Network North project funded by cash diverted from scrapping the HS2 high-speed rail link between Birmingham and Manchester.

In 2020, hundreds signed a petition launched by a Kirklees Labour councillor calling for a half-hourly service on the route, which stops at Meadowhall, Chapeltown and Barnsley. A Levelling Up bid was submitted by Kirklees Council the following year.

Now, Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, has hailed the announcement of cash from round three of the fund.

She said: "I’m delighted that we’ve succeeded in securing the funding to start upgrading Penistone Line. This is fantastic news for people across Penistone, Silkstone and Dodworth who will benefit from a significant improvement in the local rail service. 

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"The Government has rightly recognised the importance of this line and is investing in levelling up transport connectivity here in South Yorkshire. This is something I’ve been campaigning for since I was elected and I know it will be welcomed across our community.”

The “eventual ambition” is to double the frequency of services to two trains per hour, she added. 

The project is led by Kirklees Council in collaboration with Barnsley Council and the South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authorities, who are responsible for the local transport networks in the two counties.

The route is run by Northern, which says the journey from Sheffield to Huddersfield takes 1hr 29m.

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