Manchester and the North of England are set to benefit from a £72 million injection of funding for upgrades to rail services. It is hoped the upgrade of the city’s rail infrastructure will result in fewer delays and more reliable trains across the North of England. 

The announcement for the new funding was made on May 25 at Manchester Victoria train station by rail minister Huw Merriman. He revealed what is the latest of 4 infrastructure upgrades which are hoped to improve passengers’ day-to-day journeys. 

The extra funding will provide a third platform at Salford Crescent station as well as track improvements across Manchester. It is hoped the extra funding will allow for improvements of the Manchester rail infrastructure to help reduce delays, bottlenecks and station overcrowding.  

Manchester Victoria, one of the city’s biggest train stations, will also benefit from the new investment. Extra entry and exit points will be added to platforms, making it easier for passengers to travel through the station during busier periods.

Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “An efficient railway is key to levelling up and the improvements delivered through this package will help boost local economies and connect people to opportunities, as well as friends and family.”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:This investment supports our commitment to transforming journeys across the north by achieving much needed infrastructure improvements in Manchester. Today’s funding, alongside major projects like HS2, the TransPennine route upgrade and Northern Powerhouse Rail, demonstrates our pledge to improving opportunities for passengers across the region and leaving a positive impact for generations to come.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:There is a massive opportunity to change rail journeys for people and businesses in Greater Manchester and the North for the better, and this infrastructure investment is a welcome next step to help make that happen. Through the task force and our trailblazer deal, we will continue working with the government and the industry to help shape the comprehensive package of improvements needed to transform rail travel and support our growing economy, so that we can create more jobs and homes.”

The funding announced today follows the announcement of a new timetable launch in December 2022.

It’s hoped that funding will deliver a better performing timetable and extended platforms for longer electric trains with more seats.

Network Rail has withdrawn a previous planning application for work on Manchester Piccadilly, Airport and Oxford Road stations, and the Government has asked the Task Force to consider alternative options.

Network Rail’s Tim Shoveller said:Today’s announcement is really positive, allowing us to get on with fixing the infrastructure around central Manchester so we can run trains more reliably.

“The rail industry has come together to work on these proposals, building into a long-term vision that will get the best for our passengers and freight users alike.

“We also have ambitious plans for the future of Manchester Oxford Road and are removing our previous planning application so we can move forward with a new approach, something we’ll be consulting residents and businesses on later in the year.”