Work to boost rail connections between Sheffield and Manchester set to begin next year

The work would boost the number of fast trains each hour from two to three
The work would boost the number of fast trains each hour from two to three
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Work to boost the number of trains running between Sheffield and Manchester is set to begin next year.

Long-awaited plans to increase capacity on the Hope Valley line between the two cities were finally approved yesterday by transport secretary Chris Grayling.

Network Rail has now said it hopes to begin work next year, subject to funding.

A new passing loop at Bamford and extra track at Dore is needed to make it easier for passenger trains to overtake freight carriages using the route through the Peak District.

The work would make it possible to increase the number of fast trains from two an hour to three, and double the frequency of stopping services from two-hourly to hourly.

Thomas Drury, sponsor at Network Rail, said: "This major upgrade will remove a bottleneck and allow faster passenger services to overtake slower moving freight and stopping services.

"It's another key scheme that forms part of the Great North Rail Project, which is transforming passenger journeys across the north."