LOCAL rail users are set to benefit from improved connectivity, new journey opportunities and enhanced reliability as part of a transformational timetable change by TransPennine Express.
Part of the Great North Rail Project, the changes will come into effect from May 20 and will see the train company operating six trains an hour across the Pennines between Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester.
Two of these hourly services will begin calling at intermediate stations previously served by Northern Rail between Manchester and Leeds, providing these communities with direct connections to Leeds and faster journeys to Manchester.
These two services calling at intermediate stations are:
• Manchester Piccadilly – Stalybridge – Mossley – Slaithwaite – Huddersfield – Dewsbury – Batley – Leeds – Garforth – Selby – Brough – Hull
• Manchester Piccadilly – Stalybridge – Greenfield – Marsden – Huddersfield – Deighton – Mirfield – Ravensthorpe – Dewsbury – Batley – Morley – Cottingley (peak hours only) – Leeds
TransPennine Express is an intercity rail provider with a vision to Take the North Further. They will deliver an investment of over £500 million in the next two years that will transform travel and customer experience across the North and into Scotland.
Between 2018 and 2020 they will introduce 220 new state-of-the-art carriages, will provide new routes and services and will increase capacity by over 80 per-cent on a seven day a week timetable.
Customers will also benefit from travelling on modern, fully refurbished trains featuring new high-quality seating and carpets, charging points and fast, free wi-fi in both standard and first class.
Northern Rail will continue to operate additional services to these intermediate stations during peak times, Monday to Friday.
Those travelling from Leeds or Huddersfield into Manchester are advised to travel on express services into Manchester Victoria and journeys. From May, the journey between Leeds and Manchester will be faster and will take just 46 minutes compared to 55 today.
These plans will mean significant changes to customers journeys and those travelling into Manchester from the east will find that they are travelling into a different city centre station than before.
There will be two TPE trains per hour from Stalybridge to Manchester, terminating at Manchester Piccadilly.
There will be no longer be a direct connection from Stalybridge to Liverpool Lime Street via Manchester Oxford Road, Birchwood, Warrington Central, Liverpool South Parkway and customers for these stations are advised to change in Manchester.
Leo Goodwin, managing director for TransPennine Express, said: “This is one of the biggest timetable changes the North has seen and will deliver real benefits for customers, whether travelling for work or leisure.
“Customers in this part of the world are already benefitting from a £32million overhaul of our train fleet to like-new standard with the on-board experience having been totally transformed.
“We are delivering an investment of more than £500million over the next two years in enhanced services, more seats and brand new trains for communities across the North and into Scotland.”
Full details of all train times and fares can be found online at: