More trains and bigger stations in £4.2bn boost for South Yorkshire

Dore and Totley station which is getting a new park and ride car park
Dore and Totley station which is getting a new park and ride car park
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A five-year rail investment programme encompassing South Yorkshire will see more trains and seats made available.

Network Rail is set to embark on the plan which will also reduce congestion and create bigger and better stations.

Phil Verster, route managing director at Network Rail

Phil Verster, route managing director at Network Rail

It says the changes will make a ‘tangible improvement’ to people’s lives as well as boosting the economy.

The changes are part of a £4.2 billion investment package as parts of the region look set to see demand for rail travel increase by 20 per cent.

Changes will include a new line at Dore as well as electrification of the North TransPennine and Midland Main Line routes, reducing the cost of running the railway and cutting carbon emissions.

South Yorkshire will also see platform extensions at several stations to allow longer trains to run and more passengers to travel on each service.

Key elements of track infrastructure, such as the rails themselves as well as signals and bridges, will also be replaced.

Drainage issues will also be tackled to help the line cope in extreme weather, after the recent rainfall as well as floods in 2012.

Route managing director for Network Rail, Phil Verster, said: “Our railway is a vital part of our national infrastructure.

“Rail services connect homes and workplaces, businesses and markets – they create jobs, stimulate trade and support the growth of a balanced economy.

“Our investment plans are crucial to making sure we can meet that demand while maintaining a safe and reliable service and making the improvements in performance passengers rightly expect.

“Extreme weather is an increasingly frequent threat to our network, as we have seen with St Jude’s storm last year and the heavy rain and flooding of 2012.

“We have robust plans to target the most vulnerable parts of our route to improve resilience and make sure we are doing everything possible to keep services running whatever the weather.

“The safety of everyone who comes into contact with the railway, whether as a passenger, worker or user of a level crossing remains of the utmost importance.

“We are committed to make significant improvements in the number of trains which run on time.

“We are running more trains than ever before and performance remains a tough challenge.

“Our investment programme will help to address the issues of congestion and ageing infrastructure to help drive up train performance.”