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Hope Valley Railway Line: Freight

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the capacity of the Hope Valley railway line to carry freight (a) now and (b) in the future. (194583)

Network Rail has assessed the capacity of the Hope Valley railway line in its Freight Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS), published in 2007. The strategy set out a detailed analysis of freight issues, requirements and proposals for accommodating growth. The Freight RUS identified, over the next 10 years, a possible need for extra capacity on the Hope Valley route between Sheffield and Manchester arising from a forecast growth in aggregate and construction materials originating in this area.

Network Rail's Yorkshire and Humber RUS, which is being worked on at present, is also considering capacity needs on this and the two other rail routes across the Pennines.