Sustainable Rail construction Leeds Station

Transpennine Route Upgrade Sets Sustainability Benchmark with BREEAM Infrastructure “Excellent” Award

Sustainable Rail construction Leeds Station

The Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU), a transformative railway improvement programme in the U.K., is making significant strides in sustainable development. The Leeds Station Capacity Project, a key component of the TRU, has been awarded the BREEAM Infrastructure “Excellent” rating, marking a significant achievement in sustainable railway infrastructure.

The TRU programme, spanning 70 miles and 23 stations, aims to build a greener, faster, and better railway between Manchester and York. It is committed to reducing carbon emissions, generating thousands of jobs, and delivering billions of pounds in social value to the North of England. The Leeds Station Capacity Project, the first TRU project to achieve the BREEAM Infrastructure Excellent rating, is a testament to this commitment.

The Leeds Station Capacity Project involved the construction of Platform 0, the station’s first new platform in nearly 20 years. This addition increases the station’s capacity, allowing for more frequent, longer trains to run through the station. The project was recognised by BREEAM Infrastructure for its sustainable approach, including extensive stakeholder engagement, social initiatives, and significant carbon savings.


The Rt Hon Hilary Benn, MP for Leeds Central, presents the BREEAM Infrastructure certificate to project BREEAM and TRU team representatives.

The Rt Hon Hilary Benn, MP for Leeds Central, praised the project, saying,

“The awarding of excellent in BREEAM infrastructure for the work at Leeds station is testament to all the staff involved and to the sustainable ethos of the Transpennine Route Upgrade. Rail travel is vital to the people of Leeds and this recognition shows how sustainability is being built into the future of rail travel across the North of England.”

Melanie Manton, BREEAM Infrastructure, International Business Development, also commended the team’s efforts, stating,

“Amidst the challenges of lockdowns and the pandemic, Leeds Station’s unwavering commitment to sustainability was commendable. The team’s dedication, despite hurdles like COVID-related delays and adapting to a new assessment methodology, was exemplary. We at BREEAM Infrastructure applaud their efforts and are pleased to see that their dedication is rewarded with this ‘Excellent’ achievement.”

The project team, including Network Rail, Jacobs, VolkerRail Ltd., J Murphy & Sons, Systra, Siemens, Amey, BAM, Arup, Buckingham Group, and Balfour Beatty, worked collaboratively to achieve this rating. The project saved more than 144 tonnes of CO2e by reducing key materials and pre-fabricating components off-site, minimising the impact on station users and nearby residents.

Transpennine Route Upgrade Managing Director Neil Holm said, “Sustainability is at the heart of the Transpennine Route Upgrade and the recognition from BREEAM for our work at Leeds Station pays tribute to our ambitions.” Jacobs People & Places Solutions Senior Vice President Europe Kate Kenny added, “TRU is more than improving a railway asset, it’s enhancing lives.”

The TRU programme’s new sustainability strategy, “Our Guiding Compass”, outlines plans to save 6 million tonnes of CO2e over a 60-year period after work is complete. This achievement sets a blueprint for future sustainable railway improvements and exemplifies the commitment of all organisations involved in delivering value to communities along the route.

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