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Significant earthworks completed on Hope Valley Railway Upgrade

Major progress is being made on the Hope Valley Railway Upgrade, with the majority of earthworks, which set the foundations for a new passing track loop between Bamford and Hathersage stations, completed.

On completion of this major upgrade project between Manchester and Sheffield, the passing loop will enable passenger trains to pass slower freight trains, increasing the reliability of passenger journeys.

The joint venture has completed soil nailing and regrade work at Bamford, to clear the land needed for the new track, and to secure the adjoining rock face. This involves drilling nails into the embankment to stabilise the ground in advance of track installation. A total of 935 nails have been installed as part of the work ready for track to be installed later in the year.

Graeme Whitehead, senior sponsor from Network Rail, said: “We’re very pleased with the progress of work that the team have made at Bamford, despite challenging ground conditions”.

Reaching this milestone means that we’re one step closer to completing the passing loop and delivering benefits to passengers travelling along the Hope Valley line.”

The first phase of track installation on the loop was completed in Bamford between November 2022 and February 2023. This included the construction and placement of two turnout sections of track for the loop, which will eventually meet in the middle completing a passing loop for fast trains to pass, therefore reducing delays to services. The remainder of the loop is planned to be completed this year.

Elsewhere on the project, work is progressing to build a second platform and a new footbridge at Dore & Totley station. Over 2355m of track has been installed in Dore & Totley since July 2022, and work has recently started to build the foundations for the platform and footbridge.

The Hope Valley Railway Upgrade is due to be completed in spring 2024.