The cities of Leeds and Sheffield are the big winners in today's announcement by Network Rail of a four billion pounds investment over the next five years.
There has been anger today in Hull and Lincoln, which are both set to lose out on huge improvements which will lead to more trains and faster trains. David Hirst reports.
Network Rail insist improvements to the rail lines in the North of England, including a rail hub based in York, will cut journey times and improve business prospects.
Railfuture, a campaign fighting for better railways, says Network Rail's improvement of the rail infrastructure in our region is 'tremendous' but the electrification of lines doesn't go far enough. Chris Hyome from the group has spoken to Calendar's Tina Gelder.
Phil Verster, Network Rail's Route Managing Director for London North Eastern, the route which connects the capital with the Calendar region, says the plans for improvements to the network will make connections between northern cities faster and more efficient.
Key items in the plan include the new Rail Operating Centre in York which is already being built which will allow us to consolidate our signalling and improve efficiency. The Northern Hub development and electrification will deliver more frequent, faster, greener connections between our northern cities.
Metro Chairman Cllr James Lewis says investment in the region's rail infrastructure will make West Yorkshire a better place to do business. Network Rail wants to create a hub in York worth £560 million to increase the number of services in the north of England by 700 services per day.
Platform lengthening, changes to Huddersfield Rail Station and the ability to run more services east of Leeds to relieve pressure on Leeds Rail Station will all help to meet the forecast increase in the number of rail journeys made each year. These developments will build upon the work Metro is already carrying out to develop new stations at Apperley Bridge, Kirkstall Forge and Low Moor.
"Further afield, the commitment to complete the Northern Hub proposals at Manchester, together with trans-Pennine electrification and improvements to the East Coast Main Line will all help to make West Yorkshire a better place to do business in.
"Metro will work hard with our industry partners to ensure that these vital schemes are fully funded and included in the next Network Rail five-year funding period, starting in 2014, and that we can continue this work through the Yorkshire Rail Network Study in the medium term."
There are plans for a multi-million pound investment into rail improvements across the region.
Network Rail wants to create a hub in York worth £560 million to increase the number of services in the north of England by 700 services per day.
They also believe this will create 20,000 jobs and will lead to shorter journey times.
Some of the plans include:
- Doubling Dore junction and Calder Valley journey time improvement
- Electrifying the trans-Pennine route, including Selby to Micklefield, and introducing new, more reliable and faster trains connectivity to address key bottlenecks
- Leeds station new platforms to improve capacity
- Harrogate station capacity
- New turnback facility at Micklefield
- Tram Train pilot connecting to Sheffield Supertram.
As the festive party season gets underway, there is a warning from Network Rail for party-goers to take care at Leeds station. Almost one hundred people were involved in slips, trips or falls at the station between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012, according to the latest figures.
A third of these incidents happened on a Friday and Saturday. A new digital and poster campaign with CCTV footage highlights how running for a train with bags of shopping or attempting to carry heavy luggage on an escalator can end up with more than a bruised pride.
Phil Verster, Route Managing Director for Network Rail said: “Our station team at Leeds are working around the clock to help passengers get home safe. Please plan ahead so you don’t end up rushing to catch your train - falling over could be a miserable end to an enjoyable evening.”
Across the country most incidents involved people slipping on the concourse, falling down stairs or on the platform, with more than 500 falls on escalators and over 400 people who fell when running. More than 400 incidents involved a person who was intoxicated.
December 2011 saw 322 incidents, accounting for around 10% of the total - and Fridays were the most common day
Photos of Halifax in West Yorkshire and Ribblehead in the Yorkshire Dales have both been named runners up in the Network Rail Lines in the Landscape award as part of the Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year competition.
The images by Mark Voce from West Yorkshire and Graham Roose from Lancashire were joined in the runners up by an image of Berwick-upon-Tweed by Jack Beeston from East Yorkshire.
They were pipped at the post by Graham Hobbs from Dorset who was chosen by Charlie Waite, renowned landscape photographer and founder of the competition.
The potential design for a new footbridge over one of the level crossings in the centre of Lincoln has been revealed.Read the full story ›
The rail union RMT has secured a key milestone victory in the fight for justice for sacked Jarvis rail workers with the Employment Tribunal finding that there was a transfer of part of the Jarvis renewals work on the London North East work to Babcock Rail under a contract with Network Rail.
When Jarvis went into administration 1100 employees, including over 400 RMT members., were sacked. The tribunal hearing in Leeds had been deciding on whether or not there was a transfer of that part of Jarvis Rail Ltd dealing with the LNE contract renewals work for Network Rail.
The Employment Tribunal has today found in RMT’s favour and there will now be further discussions and hearings as the union and its lawyers pursue a fair and just settlement for the sacked Jarvis workers.