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Electric trains plan for Sheffield routes

An East Midlands diesel train at Sheffield station - these could be joined by electric trains in the future.

An East Midlands diesel train at Sheffield station - these could be joined by electric trains in the future.

 

Faster and greener electric trains could soon be introduced along key rail routes from Sheffield.

Faster and greener electric trains could soon be introduced along key rail routes from Sheffield.

The Department for Transport and Network Rail have established a joint taskforce examining the possibility of electrifying routes from Sheffield to locations including Manchester, Leeds via Moorthorpe and Doncaster.

Details of the plans have been unveiled in the Government’s consultation document on the future of the Northern Rail and TransPennine Express franchises.

A report on the feasibility of the plans is expected in the next year.

Network Rail has already embarked on a £400 million project to electrify routes in the north west.

The consultation document states infrastructure upgrades are planned on the Hope Valley route between Sheffield and Manchester.

Work could also take place by the end of 2018 to allow trains to run more quickly between the two cities, as well as increasing the amount of capacity for passengers.

It is hoped work will start in summer 2016 on a project to build new sections of railway close to Grindleford and Dore & Totley stations to allow passenger services to overtake slower-moving freight and stopping passenger trains.

The move is designed to increase the frequency and reliability of services between the two cities.

But the report also says the current hourly service between Doncaster and Manchester Airport may be scrapped to be replaced with an additional Sheffield to Cleethorpes service.

The report said: “Stations between Doncaster and Cleethorpes currently have an hourly TPE service from Manchester Airport. Passenger loadings are relatively high between Manchester Airport and Doncaster, but low between Doncaster and Cleethorpes.

“The majority of passengers from Cleethorpes, Grimsby and Scunthorpe are travelling only as far as Sheffield or connecting at Doncaster or Sheffield for onward services, rather than travelling over the Pennines.

“We are therefore examining the option, subject to operational constraints, of terminating the TPE service from Manchester at Doncaster with a replacement Sheffield-Cleethorpes service being operated by Northern, possibly as an extension of the existing hourly Northern Sheffield-Scunthorpe service.”

Bidders to run the new franchises will have to submit proposals to reduce overcrowding on services.

The report said it is ‘reasonable for passengers to expect to get a seat for journeys of more than 20 minutes’.

 

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