New tram and train links for Sheffield in plan to 'revolutionise' rail travel

Sheffield could get extensive new tram and train links, serving suburbs from High Green to Handsworth, under plans to ‘revolutionise’ rail travel in the region.

Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 12:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th July 2019, 12:22 pm

Transport chiefs are considering re-introducing passenger services on the Don Valley line to Deepcar and on the Barrow Hill line to Chesterfield via Beighton.

They are also looking at the potential for new tram-train services to Chapeltown, High Green and Northern General Hospital in the north and Handsworth, Woodhouse and Beighton in the south east.

Extra trains from Sheffield to Manchester and Huddersfield, a major revamp for Sheffield Midland station and the possibility of a new line between Sheffield and Manchester are envisaged too.

Sheffield City Region's Integrated Rail Plan

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And in the wider region, there are plans to extend tram-train services from Rotherham to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, where a new railway station would also be created, and to build a new Midland Main Line station in Rotherham and another new station at Goldthorpe in Barnsley’s Dearne Valley.

The proposals are part of a wide-ranging Integrated Rail Plan produced by Sheffield City Region and the area’s councils, supported by organisations including Transport for the North and HS2 Ltd, and welcomed by the Department for Transport.

Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis said: “This is a landmark moment for our region. For the first time, the Government, regional partners and our local authorities have come together to welcome a vision for the future of our rail services, creating a plan that will revolutionise rail travel for our communities.

Sheffield City Region's Integrated Rail Plan

"A new station in the Dearne Valley, on the Northern Powerhouse Rail network, will offer potentially transformational regeneration opportunities for that area. I look forward to working with the Department for Transport to ensure that sits alongside essential investment in the surrounding road network, especially at the pinch point around Hickleton and Marr.

"But although individual pieces of infrastructure are undoubtedly important; the most important feature of this plan is that it ties together separate projects such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail into one cohesive whole, enabling people to travel within our region, across the north and nationally in a simple and efficient way.

"When I became mayor I made transport one of my key priorities. Following on from the launch of my Transport Strategy, the appointment of Dame Sarah Storey as Sheffield City Region's first active travel commissioner and the submission of a £220m Transforming Cities Fund bid, this is another example of how I'm taking action to ensure our transport network is fit for the 21st century."

The 59-page document, published todayThursday, July 18, sets out plans for the immediate future, alongside longer-term proposals to improve connections across the region.

Sheffield City Region's Integrated Rail Plan

An extra hourly fast train between Sheffield and Manchester; longer trains doubling capacity between Doncaster, Sheffield and Manchester; a new tram-train stop at Magna Science Adventure Centre; and a park-and-ride service at the Parkgate tram-train stop are among the improvements it says passengers can expect between now and 2024.

Over the same period, Sheffield City Region says it will make the business case to have four trains an hour running on the Hope Valley line between Sheffield and Manchester, where an upgrade is already planned; to create a new station at Waverley, serving the Adavanced Manufacturing Innovation District; to build a station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, connected to the East Coast Main Line; and to extend tram-train route to Doncaster and the airport via Swinton.

And there will be ‘further investigation’ during the next five years into the feasibility of re-introducing passenger services on the Don Valley line from Sheffield city centre to Deepcar, with an extension to Penistone, and new stations being created along the route; re-introducing passenger services on the Barrow Hill line from Sheffield to Chesterfield, via Beighton, again with new stations; and extending the tram or tram-train network in Sheffield.

The priority for any tram-train extensions is to take the service out to the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, but other options being considered include:

Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis

A new route through the Upper Don Valley and Chapeltown/High Green to Sheffield city centre via Meadowhall, Northern General Hospital and/or Hillsborough

A route from Meadowhead to Sheffield city centre

A north orbital route connecting Hillsborough to the Northern General Hospital, Meadowhall and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District

A new service to the the south-east of the city, serving Handsworth , Woodhouse and Beighton, possibly with a spur to Aston and Aughton

An improved direct service between the west and south west, the city centre and the Lower Don Valley and Meadowhall.

A major revamp is also planned at Sheffield Midland station and the surrounding area, ready for the arrival of HS2, with proposals to make the station a ‘destination in its own right’, hosting more events and generating substantial income from shopping and food and drink.

How Sheffield Midland station could look after a major upgrade ready for the arrival of HS2 services

The report states that better rail services are badly needed in the region, which it says is ‘let down’ by connections to nearby cities and suffers from overcrowded trains, disappointing standards at smaller stations and falling passenger satisfaction.

Many of the schemes outlined in the plan are included in Sheffield City Region’s Transforming Cities Fund bid, while others would form part of work either already planned by Network Rail or included in Transport for the North’s investment programme, which is under development.

The plan’s publication comes just a week after Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East, called for new tram-train routes from Sheffield city centre to Stocksbridge and Beighton and out to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

The full Integrated Rail Plan is available to view here.

WHAT DOES THE PLAN INCLUDE?

CHANGES PLANNED IN NEXT FIVE YEARS

New park-and-ride service at Parkgate tram-train stop

New Magna Science Adventure Centre tram-train stop

Extra fast train per hour between Sheffield and Manchester

Longer trains between Doncaster, Sheffield and Manchester

BUSINESS CASE TO BE MADE BETWEEN 2019 AND 2024

New station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, connected to the East Coast Main Line

Extension of tram-train from Rotherham Parkgate to Swinton, and additional services to Doncaster and Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Extension of Midland Mainline services to Barnsley

Hope Valley Line upgrade to accommodate four trains per hour between Sheffield and Manchester

Midland Mainline electrification from Clay Cross to Sheffield for HS2 Phase 2b, with three tracks to be provided between Dore and Sheffield

Expansion of park-and-ride car parks at Dore & Totley and Meadowhall

New Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District/Waverley station

Four trains per hour between Sheffield and Leeds via HS2

Upgrade to lines between Sheffield and Hull to accommodate two trains per hour

Dearne Valley line upgrade and electrification for HS2, with a new station at Goldthorpe

New Rotherham Mainline station

FURTHER INVESTIGATION IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS

Potential new line between Sheffield and Manchester

Feasibility study into adding a second train per hour between Sheffield/Barnsley and Huddersfield

Feasibility study into re-introducing passenger services on the Don Valley line, with new stations and an extension from Deepcar to Penistone

Feasibility study into re-introducing passenger services on the Barrow Hill line between Sheffield and Chesterfield, via Beighton, with new stations

Feasibility study into creating new tram-train stops at Forge Way and Kilnhurst

Feasibility of tram or tram-train extensions in Sheffield, potentially serving Northern General Hospital, Chapeltown/High Green, Handsworth, Woodhouse and Beighton, among other destinations