MORE trains will travel through Huddersfield after the Trans-Pennine network was given a Budget boost.
A new rail link will be built between Manchester’s Victoria and Piccadilly stations and the Government says this will bring 50% more trains through Huddersfield.
Journey times will also be cut by up to 15 minutes, it is claimed.
The scheme, to be completed by 2016, is part of a £200m rail package from Chancellor George Osborne.
It confirms funding for a proposed stretch of line known as the Ordsall Curve at a railway junction in Salford.
Its completion would allow Trans-Pennine Express services to operate via Manchester Victoria station.
Most of the track needed already exists, but the curve would allow trains to travel between Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly and on to Manchester Airport.
Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, said: “The Government’s investment in this £85m scheme is great news for rail passengers on both sides of the Pennines and shows the Government’s commitment to investing in our existing railways while also planning a new high speed network.
“This will cut average journey times between Leeds and Manchester by 15 minutes and between Leeds and Liverpool by around 35 minutes.
“In addition, this scheme will allow a 50% increase in trains between Leeds and Manchester via Huddersfield and release much needed platform capacity at Manchester Piccadilly.”
Leo Goodwin, Commercial Director for First TransPennine Express said: “A successful railway in the North of England is likely to have strong economic benefits for the cities, towns and regions we serve, including Huddersfield.”
Anthony Smith, chief executive of rail users group Passenger Focus welcomed the investment.