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Hope Valley Railway Upgrade picks up pace in 2023

New Year work has now begun for the VolkerRailStory joint venture, as it continues to increase resilience and improve reliability on the Hope Valley Railway Upgrade project.

Since May 2022, the joint venture has been working around the clock to remove several bottlenecks between Manchester and Sheffield, as well as signalling upgrades to improve reliability and platform extensions, allowing for more carriages on services.

Throughout January and February, the joint venture will be undertaking weekend possessions to complete the first phase of the passing loop installation, enabling faster trains to overtake slower trains at Bamford, and lift in a new footbridge at Hathersage, which will replace the current foot crossing, offering a safer route across the line for walkers.

Hannah Lomas, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail, said: “This is an important period for the Hope Valley Railway Upgrade project, as various major projects on the line continue at pace.

"I’d like to thank the local communities for their patience and support as we continue to upgrade this important line, improving reliability, increasing line resilience, and removing historic bottlenecks allowing faster journeys.”

Shaun Boult, VolkerRail’s senior project manager, said: “This is an exciting time for our teams, as they continue to work with Network Rail and local communities to ensure the work is undertaken with minimal impact to passengers.”

Hope Valley Railway Upgrade

The Hope Valley Railway Upgrade will remove several bottlenecks between Manchester and Sheffield to allow passenger trains to overtake slower freight trains along the line.

The main improvements include:

  • A new platform and accessible footbridge with lifts at Dore & Totley station
  • A railway loop between Bamford and Hathersage
  • A new overbridge at Hathersage West, replacing the current foot crossing to improve safety
  • Signalling improvements along the line to improve reliability
  • • Platform extensions to allow for more carriages on services

Once complete, this project will deliver real benefits for passengers in the North of England, with improved train reliability and an upgraded network to help meet future demands.