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I’ve been looking at progress on the trans-pennine railway route upgrade for some time now, both the record locations before the work started and now as it progresses. Last month I visited Stalybridge to see the result of the long blockade. You can find that blog here.

Yesterday I ventured out to an area I’d not visited since the upgrade began, the line between Batley and Cottingley. Some major work’s happening here in preparation for electrification. On this section it includes the physical relocation of two stations The first is Morley, the second is Cottingley where the new station will be renamed White Rose. Although happening during the TRU work, this replacement station had been planned for some time. Other works include the closure of Lady Anne crossing just outside Batley which involves removing the old Great Northern Railway bridge abutment to create the space to install a large footbridge. This will replace the road/foot crossing. It will also entail the closure of the last remaining manual signalbox on the route.

Here’s a selection of pictures from my trip.

Class 68 number 68025 ‘Superb’ approaches Batley with 1U52, the 1248 Scarborough to Manchester Piccadilly. It’s passing the newly laid crossing between Up and Down lines installed as part of the TRU upgrade to increase operational flexibility. The yellow digger above the signal is working grading the old GNR embankment at the site of Lady Anne crossing. The haul road on the right is built on the formation of the old GNR Batley branch which went to Birstall and Bradford, crossing over the present line at Lady Anne crossing.
A 2009 archive shot showing the Signalbox at Lady Anne Crossing and one of the abutments of the old GNR line. The new footbridge will be built to the left of this picture.
Seen from the opposite side of the tracks to the last picture, the signaller opens the gates to let a car across the line. The new footbridge is being built where the old bridge abutment is.
Another view of Batley and the TRU work. It’s hard to imagine now but not only was this a four track line, it was also the site of three junctions. Between the yellow digger and the house on the right is the course of the GNR’s Beeston and Batley branch via Tingley. Where you can see the pile of sleepers in the cess on the left hand side of the tracks was the site of the junction for the single track LNWR Birstall branch.

Meanwhile, further up the line at Morley…

Here’s the existing station at Morley seen from above the tunnel mouth which literally on the stations doorstep. In the background you can see the site of the new station which is only a few hundred metres away.
Work on the new station’s progressing well. As you can see, it’s a little more breathing room than the old station, but those reverse curves…
Here’s Cottingley station which only opened in 1988. Passenger numbers have always been low, apparently, which is why its been proposed for replacement for quite some time.
Seen from the footbridge at Cottingly station (behind the camera) TPE’s 185127 speeds past whilst working 1K23, the 1354 Liverpool Lime Street to Hull. In the background, just over the flowering Hawthorns you can see the buildings of the new ‘White Rose’ station.

I’ll be making regular visits to TRU locations over the next few months, showing the before/after as the route’s transformed.

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