Alerts 45 Bus

Harrogate Line electrification

A scheme to improve services on the busy Leeds - Harrogate - York route.

Metro, working together with North Yorkshire County Council, Harrogate Borough Council and City of York Council, has submitted a Business Case for the electrification of the route between Leeds, Harrogate and York.


If approved, the route would see an improved frequency of four trains per hour between Leeds, Horsforth and Harrogate, with two trains per hour extending to Knaresborough and York, using modern, electric trains.


Journey times would be reduced by 15 minutes end-to-end, bringing the Leeds - Harrogate journey time down to under 30 minutes.


It's proposed that electrification of the Harrogate Line takes place as a follow-on scheme to the planned North trans-Pennine route electrification, due to take place around 2017.

Key facts

The core benefit:cost ratio for improvements to the Leeds – Harrogate – York Rail Line, at a forecast capital cost of £93.34m is 3.61:1.


The best case scenario achieves:

  • Service frequency doubled across the whole route, together with early morning and later evening journeys are possible
  • End-to-end journey time reductions of 15 minutes and, as a result of the additional demand, generates a positive financial return over the life of the scheme.
  • Long-term cost reduction of operating the line, and with lower-cost electric multiple units a positive Revenue:Cost ratio of 1.25.

Over 3 million annual vehicle kilometres are removed from the highway network, with associated social and environmental benefits, along with time benefits for existing road users.


The scheme significantly enhances connectivity and economic productivity between employment, labour and international visitor markets in Leeds, Harrogate and York; driving both local and international competitiveness.


Fast connectivity to both the East Coast Main Line and Trans Pennine Express at Leeds and York is secured, supporting the existing travel to national economic centres and international gateways together with future HS2 networks.


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