COWI celebrates contract award for Transpennine Route Upgrade

Work commencing on the TRU Upgrade - image: COWI

Network Rail has awarded a design contract for the Stalybridge to Huddersfield section of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) to international engineering consulting group COWI. 

The project forms part of the TRU scheme, a major programme of railway improvements across the Pennines between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York. 

COWI will develop engineering solutions for the route with the objective of minimising impacts on adjacent communities, reducing construction duration and costs, all with sustainability and safety oversight. 

Bringing specialised expertise in dealing with historic tunnels and construction methods, COWI will be responsible for the tunnelling works for three Victorian era tunnels - Stalybridge tunnel, Scout tunnel and Standedge tunnel. 

Works include accommodation for W12 gauge clearance and electrification, including 1.7km of track slab installation to facilitate track lowering. 

This will enable larger freight trains to pass through, allowing for greener transportation of cargo which would typically be moved by lorry.  

As part of the W2BC project, COWI will also be delivering off track drainage and geotechnical work.

Providing specialist teams, the geotechnical work will focus on retaining walls and earthwork stability while the off- track drainage enhancements will increase flood resilience. 

Andy Sloan, managing director of COWI in the UK, said: “The work presents unique challenges due to the age of the infrastructure, requiring a balance between modern engineering solutions and the preservation of historical integrity. 

“Our teams have been working on the TRU project for over seven years so we are delighted to continue our involvement on this additional section of the programme.” 

The upgrades aim to bring greener, more frequent and faster journeys with improved reliability for passengers between Manchester and York.  

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