A major Â£ 9.8million upgrade to the rail line between Knaresborough and Poppleton has been completed by Network Rail to improve rail services for passengers.
The project was funded by the North Yorkshire County Council and the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The signaling system has been modernized and the token signaling process has been removed.
The track layout at Cattal has been improved to allow two trains to enter the station at the same time.
Luke Espin, sponsor of Network Rail, said: âThis project will allow more services to operate in the future and is essential for improving transport links for passengers, and we are really happy that this work is now complete.
âTo allow this work to proceed safely, there have been some changes in train services, as well as short-term road closures, and we would like to thank everyone who has been affected for their patience.
âIt has been great to work with North Yorkshire County Council and the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership on this project, and we can’t wait for passengers to reap the benefits. “
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: ‘The completion of these vital improvements at Cattal and along the Harrogate-York line is fantastic news for North Yorkshire passengers, creating a more modern, reliable railway. and resilient for years to come.
“By improving the connections between Harrogate and York, as well as the stations along the route, it will help this region to rebuild better, boosting the local economy and supporting tourism.”
Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, said: âIn recent years we have seen more and faster service on the York-Harrogate-Leeds line. We have seen signage upgrades and new Azuma services to and from London coming to Harrogate. We also saw the backs of the old, leaking stimulation trains.
âNow we have seen the completion of the work allowing two trains to enter Cattal station at the same time. The importance of this is that it removes a bottleneck for future capacity increases on the line. This means that the capacity to increase services to and from York now exists, whereas previously the infrastructure limited it. This is another big step forward for our local rail line.
Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, said: âThis is a day to celebrate as the modernization of the York-Harrogate line comes to an end. Greater connectivity will benefit the economies of York and Harrogate and all intermediate stops and provide vital infrastructure. Good public transport improves our environment, prevents congestion on our roads and supports our communities. I hope there will be more collaborations in the years to come to secure the modal shift.
North Yorkshire County Councilor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member of Access, said: âWe are delighted to be a part of the delivery of this upgraded Harrogate line which will provide increased, faster and more reliable service to the to come up.
âThe line now benefits from more modern technology, and Network Rail has increased safety at a number of level crossings and reduced congestion at Harrogate station.
âWe have enjoyed working with Network Rail and the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver this project which significantly improves rail infrastructure in the North.
Cllr Keith Aspden, Head of City of York City Council, said: âIt is great news that the Harrogate-York railway line has been modernized. As many people know, York is a crucial rail hub for the region and therefore improving connections to our city is not only important to our local economy, but also to the region’s economic success. In addition to supporting our economic recovery from the pandemic and improving commuting for York residents who already use this line, this program also supports our ambition to provide local residents with better options for using sustainable transportation in the region. “
David Dickson, Chairman of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Infrastructure and Joint Assets Board, said: âWe strongly believe in a greener, fairer and stronger vision for our region and the results of this vital project certainly demonstrate these values. . Better connectivity between Harrogate and York will provide a huge economic boost to our region, and we are grateful to all the organizations involved who have worked so hard to bring the project to this historic stage.
Adviser Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Carbon Reduction and Sustainability, said: âI am delighted to see that work to improve the railway line between Knaresborough and Poppleton has been completed.
âNot only will this encourage residents, commuters and visitors to travel more sustainably in the future, but it will also strengthen the connection between the two sites and maximize the economic benefits that two trains per hour between them would bring. “
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