Government invests in northern digital railway

The transport secretary Chris Grayling has announced that the government has invested £13bn in improving rail journeys across the North of England.

The government is currently developing plans for Britain’s first digital intercity railway in the North.

As part of the Great North Rail Project, major upgrades are currently being developed for the Transpennine route between Manchester, Leeds and York from 2022, which will slash journey times between Leeds and Manchester to 40 minutes.

Digital signalling technology has already been introduced on the London Underground, and Network Rail plans to develop options to make the Transpennine route the first digitally controlled intercity rail line in the country.

The investment will see Network Rail receive up to £5m to develop proposals for embedding digital technology between Manchester and York to help deliver a more reliable and safer railway.

This will include looking at a system of advanced train traffic management so that a computer can work out how to route the trains most efficiently along the line.

The current government has also launched the biggest modernisation programme of railways in the North since the steam age, with a further £40bn being invested in the network across the country.

The government will also introduce HS2 – Britain’s new railway – to the North, while the Pacer trains are being scrapped by the end of 2019 and major investment in motorways is also underway across the region.

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