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Sheffield unveils ambitious new plan for city region’s rail networks

The Sheffield cty region has outlined its ambitious vision for how the region will be better connected by both high speed and conventional rail networks into the future, including plans for three new stations.

Their Integrated Rail Plan says that, while the benefits of national investment in HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) should be maximised, there needs to be ongoing, complementary investment in the local and regional rail and road networks. By doing this, the region’s transport chiefs say the plan can best improve capacity, reliability, affordability, and journey times for communities and businesses across the Sheffield city region.

Key elements of the plan include: 

  • A proposed new Barnsley Dearne Valley railway station, with the preferred location on a site in Goldthorpe; 
  • The creation of a new Midland Main Line station in Rotherham; 
  • An East Coast Main Line railway station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport; 
  • An extension of the Tram-Train, the upgrade of the Hope Valley Line; and significant upgrades of the railway stations at both Sheffield and Chesterfield, to accommodate HS2 services.

Sheffield city region mayor Dan Jarvis said: “This is a landmark moment for our region. For the first time, government, regional partners and our local authorities have come together to welcome a vision for the future of our rail services, creating a plan that will revolutionise rail travel for our communities.

“A new station in the Dearne Valley, on the Northern Powerhouse Rail network, will offer potentially transformational regeneration opportunities for that area. But although individual pieces of infrastructure are undoubtedly important; the most important feature of this plan is that it ties together separate projects such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail into one cohesive whole, enabling people to travel within our region, across the north and nationally in a simple and efficient way.”

Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse rail director at Transport for the North, said: “We want to deliver a step change in rail services for existing hubs like Sheffield, as well as opportunities for new stations. But if we’re to genuinely transform the experience for passengers, we need to ensure that all the proposed rail and road investments work together. We welcome mayor Dan Jarvis’ work with local partners to set out a coherent plan for their region that incorporates local, regional and national infrastructure priorities.”

Robert Hough, chairman of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “Integrating a new ECML rail station with Doncaster Sheffield Airport’s site will drive economic growth within and beyond the region. It will help create up to 73,000 jobs, provide balance across the country and more sustainable travel through reducing the significant amount of journeys currently made to airports outside the region.”

Mark Thurston, HS2 Ltd’s CEO said: “Plans for local road and rail investment will ensure that when HS2 arrives, communities and businesses across the region will be well placed to benefit from more and better connected rail services to the north, midlands and the south, allowing the region to fully realise its economic potential.”

Justin Moss, co-chair of Northern Rail Industry Leaders, said: “It is very positive to see the region looking at how it can connect up different planned projects, including HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, as well as improvements to the Midland Main Line and Tram Train system, all of which will have transformational impacts to the Sheffield city region.”

Click here to download the Sheffield City Region Integrated Rail Plan