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Hope Valley train line to receive £137 million upgrade

A rail service which runs through the High Peak is set to receive a significant upgrade thanks to a government funding boost. 

It has been announced that Network Rail will get £137 million to upgrade the Hope Valley train line - operated by Northern - which serves Chinley and New Mills Central stations in the High Peak.  

Rail Minister Andrew Stephenson said the funding will allow Network Rail to complete detailed designs and deliver the Hope Valley capacity scheme.

It would create faster services for High Peak residents and the whole region. Passenger services will be able to overtake slower freight trains, allowing more trains to run and increasing the reliability of services.

Network Rail will improve sections of the railway around Bamford, Jaggers Lane Bridge in Hathersage, and Dore & Totley station, which will have a second platform added, meeting future demand and increasing capacity.

Construction is expected to begin in 2022, with completion by December 2023. 

Mr Stephenson added in the House of Commons during Transport Oral Questions on Thursday: "This scheme will transform journeys between the Northern Powerhouse cities of Manchester and Sheffield by removing bottlenecks on the Hope Valley line and I pay tribute to my Honourable Friend the Member for High Peak, who has campaigned relentlessly for this scheme since he was elected and has helped get it over the line." 

MP Robert Largan said: "I am absolutely delighted that the Government has listened to the people of High Peak and is moving forward with this £137 million investment in the Hope Valley line.

"This is a really big win for the High Peak and the North. This capacity upgrade investment will help deliver a more frequent and more reliable train service.

"This marks the biggest investment in High Peak’s public transport in my lifetime. I want to thank everyone who has supported my campaign. This shows what we can achieve when we all work together!

"Over the coming months, I will continue working with Ministers and Network Rail to help keep the scheme on track. By increasing capacity and reducing bottlenecks, the people of High Peak will finally get the fast, reliable rail services they deserve." 

Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, High Peak Borough Council's member for regeneration and former chairman of High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership, said the news is a "significant shot in the arm" for the High Peak and the Hope Valley. 

He added: "These improvements have been long fought for by the communities along the line, the Council and local Community Rail Partnership over many years.

"I'm so pleased that our persistence has paid off, and that ministers have finally listened to our calls to deliver long-awaited investment in this critical line for the North of England."

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