Integrated Rail Plan | Breaking down the £96bn investment
The government is boasting a £96bn investment, laid out in the Integrated Rail Plan, as “the largest ever single Government investment in the rail network”.
But what is this money going towards? Here’s a break down.
£42.5bn: completion of HS2 Phase One and Phase 2a
Almost half of the investment is accounted for by the already-underway HS2 project. The figure of £42.5bn includes money that has already been spent since March 2020.
Phase One of HS2 will create a line from London to the West Midlands. Phase 2a will continue that line onwards from the West Midlands to Crewe.
£17bn: HS2 Phase 2b Western Leg
Phase 2B of the High Speed 2 project continues the line onwards from Crewe to Manchester, stopping at Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport.
The Western Leg design includes the Golborne link, to provide a connection to the West Coast Main Line further north, near Wigan.
£12.8bn: HS2 East Core Network
Although the eastern leg of HS2 as we knew it is no more, the IRP lays out plans for an ‘HS2 East Core Network’.
This includes a high speed line between the West Midlands and the East Midlands Parkway, running on an existing safeguarded route and servicing Nottingham and Derby. This is also the core of the Midlands Rail Hub scheme.
Also included in this package is the electrification of the Midland Main Line to Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield via Derby.
There will be upgrades on the East Coast Main Line from London to Leeds and the North East.
Lastly, £100M is also being allocated to start work on the West Yorkshire Mass Transit System.
£17.2bn: Northern Powerhouse Rail Core Network
Rather than deliver Northern Powerhouse Rail in the manner originally announced, the government has chosen to focus on what’s it’s calling the “NPR Core Network”, between Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.
This includes 64km of newbuild track between Warrington, Manchester and Marsden, and upgraded and electrified lines for the rest of the route.
Leeds to York will be electrified with some sections of four tracking.
The Calder Valley Line between Leeds and Bradford will be upgraded and electrified.
Warrington Bank Quay’s ‘low level’ (platforms 6 and 7) will be reinstated. Liverpool Lime Street Station will be enhanced. Track between the two stations will be electrified and upgraded.
£5.4bn: Transpennine Route Upgrade
The TRU is now being considered as Phase 1 of Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The TRU promises to be “significantly expanded to enable NPR”. This includes electrification on the whole line, from Manchester to Leeds to York, and digital signalling throughout. There will also be longer sections of three and four-tracking, which will allow fast trains to overtake and gauge upgrades to allow intermodal container freight services.
In time, a new link to Manchester Piccadilly will be put in place, allowing for more additional services.
£1.5bn: Smaller rail schemes in the North and Midlands until 2025
The IRP is not explicit about what these schemes are, but it could include electrification of the remaining sections of the Midland Main Line to Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield and Sheffield.