The Government of the UK is planning to upgrade the TransPennine route into the country's first digitally controlled intercity rail line, as part of its £13bn rail infrastructure investment for the northern region.
The Department for Transport (DfT) will carry out a major modernisation programme along the route that runs from Manchester, Leeds and York as part of the Great North Rail Project from 2022.
Journey times between Leeds and Manchester are expected to be reduced to roughly 40 minutes following the new development.
Network Rail is set to develop options for the TransPennine route upgrade and will receive £5m funding in support of the initiative.
The company will develop a range of new proposals for the integration of digital technology between Manchester and York, including the possibility of installing advanced train traffic management systems.
UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “New technology on the Manchester to York route will help us deliver a more reliable and safer railway, with more space for passengers.
“Travel will be transformed across the north as we invest £13bn to improve journeys, expand our motorways, scrap the outdated Pacer trains and spend £55bn on HS2 to cut journey times between our great northern cities.”
The development proposals to digitise the TransPennine route will be paid via a £450m digital railway fund that was initially announced by the Chancellor last year.
The London Underground 3 lines are already equipped with in-cab signalling solutions, which enable trains to run closer and increases operational frequency.
London’s Thameslink network upgrade and expansion project, known as the Thameslink Programme, is also expected to utilise digital technologies from December 2018 to increase the frequency of its trains.
Initial improvement works have already started on the TransPennine railway line.