Extra capacity on already crowded trains from South Yorkshire to Manchester could arrive this year

Rail passengers in South Yorkshire could soon benefit from extra seats on key commuter services to Manchester as soon as the end of this year.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 2nd July 2019, 4:56 pm
TransPennine Express services from South Yorkshire could see extra capacity from as early as late 2019
TransPennine Express services from South Yorkshire could see extra capacity from as early as late 2019

The route, which operates from Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport, is heavily criticised by passengers due to overcrowding made worse with racks of holiday luggage.

But correspondence seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service from Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham shows rail franchise Trans Pennine Express will double the amount of carriages from three to six.

Rail bosses are introducing a new fleet of Nova trains at a cost of £500 million serving cities such as Liverpool, Leeds, York and Edinburgh.

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The new services are then set to free up extra carriages to increase capacity heading to and from South Yorkshire to Manchester.

The Hope Valley line which connects Sheffield and Manchester through the Peak District, is already hampered by poor capacity and slow lines.

The Government announced back in February 2018 a construction of a loop system which will allow passing lines to be built around the Bamford and Dore sections enabling more trains to run per hour and increasing passenger and freight capacity.

At present, Network Rail are looking for a contractor to carry out the work and hope to begin this year.

The work on the 1.1km loop is expected to take three years to complete and will increase the number of fast trains to Manchester from two to three an hour.

A TransPennine Express spokesman said: “Later this year, we will be introducing longer trains for customers travelling on our services between Manchester and Cleethorpes.

“Carriage numbers will increase from three to six when our new Nova fleet is phased into service as part of a £500million investment in more services and extra seats.”