Network Rail The Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU): a high-performing, reliable railway

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The Transpennine Route Upgrade is a transformative, multi-billion pound railway programme that will better connect passengers in the North between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.

At a glance

  • Multi-billion pound railway programme that will better connect passengers in the North
  • The largest rail infrastructure project outside of HS2 in the UK
  • As a part of the TRU West alliance, Amey is transforming the Infrastructure between Leeds and Manchester
  • Electrification of the whole route to reduce our carbon footprint and improve air quality
  • TRU is making the railway more reliable by remodelling track, installing a new signalling system and upgrading bridges

Key metrics

  • 76

    miles of railway

  • 25


  • 87,000

    tonnes of carbon saved by TRU each year

TRU will transform the Transpennine main line into a high-performing, reliable railway, bringing more frequent, more reliable, faster, greener trains. The 76-mile Transpennine railway serves 25 stations, 270 bridges, 15 viaducts and 8 tunnels.


Fully integrated project team

On track to better - The Transpennine Route Upgrade

In 2017, Amey - with Arup, BAM Nuttall and Network Rail - signed the contract to deliver the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) between Manchester and Leeds. Lasting 10 years, circa £1bn of work will be delivered by Amey. TRU is the largest rail infrastructure project outside of HS2 in the UK.

As a part of the TRU West alliance, Amey along with its Alliance partners were commissioned to upgrade the existing Network Rail Infrastructure between Leeds and Manchester. This comprised of overhead electrification and three tracking of the existing railway, including interventions to overbridges, underbridges, and station infrastructure across the route, allowing for greener, faster, and better connectivity between cities and northern communities.

It is a fully integrated project team, formed from all named partners, plus our supply chain partners. Amey’s multi-disciplinary capabilities in rail design and systems enable us to hold two roles within the partnership. Our Consulting team and Arup work on all design requirements, while our Rail teams deliver rail systems - track, power distribution, signalling and overhead lines. BAM Nuttall provides the major civils and bridge engineering capability.

Crucially, Network Rail is part of the partnership, so we work closely with the client team to define and achieve our shared aims and objectives. The partnership is underpinned by a collaborative cultural approach which all partners built together.


Faster and greener trains

We’re supporting the transformation of the Transpennine main line to bring passengers more frequent, faster, greener trains, running on a better, cleaner and more reliable railway.

The programme as a whole aims to achieve:

  • Faster journeys: TRU is speeding up journeys so you can travel to your favourite towns and cities more quickly. Our fastest journey times are forecast to be 63-66 minutes between Manchester and York and 41-42 minutes between Manchester and Leeds.
  • Greener travel: Electrifying the whole route to enable greener trains to run, reducing our carbon footprint and improving air quality. The plans aim to save up to 87,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year – supporting the government’s Net Zero objectives. TRU is also developing a proposal to move more goods by rail (up to 15 more freight trains each day) which is expected to remove over 1,000 lorries off the road each day.
  • More reliable journeys: TRU is making the railway more reliable by remodelling track, installing a new signalling system and upgrading bridges to bring passengers smoother, on-time journeys.
  • Better stations: Station improvements are taking place across the Transpennine route, bringing passengers a better travel experience through improved, more accessible stations.
  • More trains: The improvements will enable more trains to run between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York with up to six fast services every hour between Leeds and Manchester and up to two stopping services for local connectivity.
Environmental and social value

Amey has supported the TRU Alliance to deliver £953m in social value to date.

The Alliance has provided STEM sessions to 27,534 students from disadvantaged backgrounds and delivered 9,000 work experience days for young people. We have delivered over 230 hours of mentoring to economically inactive adults and 2,796 days of adult work experience. We provided 96 hours of local engagement during COVID-19.

We created a woodland habitat at Saddleworth, increasing biodiversity units by 41%, planting 1,200 native trees and spreading 30kg of wildflower seeds. TRU has spent £243m with local businesses (£113m with small and medium enterprises). We currently have 37 degree apprentices working on TRU. We provide employees with opportunities for volunteering and a programme of wellbeing, including training Mental Health First Aiders.

As of 2023, Amey delivers TRU using design staff primarily based across the following office locations: York (61 staff), Manchester (91), Derby (25), Birmingham (93). 71% of Amey’s employees working on TRU live within 25 miles of the route.


In April 2023, the Alliance opened its new purpose-built TRUST induction and safety training centre in Huddersfield

TRU West staff go through an innovative, fully immersive training experience, including the use of professional actors, life-like mocked up scenarios, and rigorous interactive situations to develop their skills and capabilities – all tailored to Network Rail’s specific requirements on TRU. Within six months of joining, all staff must take part in a follow-up Zero Code workshop, outlining triggers of unsafe behaviour, and a ‘Home Safe and Safe at Home’ workshop, to understand the highest risks for their roles and to discuss working together to implement better, safer controls on their worksites.

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