WARRINGTON Bank Quay could become a major rail interchange as part of plans to create a new train line through the town.

Transport for the North revealed the final draft of its proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail earlier this week, with one of its key recommendations being the construction of a new link running from Liverpool to Manchester via the town centre.

And the Warrington Guardian understands that this will involve an underground line calling at Bank Quay Station.

With this station currently being served by the West Coast Mainline, it would become a ‘major’ hub for railway users in the north west under the plans.

Warrington Borough Council chief executive Steven Broomhead said: “We are enormously positive about these proposals for a new Manchester to Liverpool line.

“It would see a major interchange at Bank Quay.

“There would be land implications to work out going forward.”

One potential solution to this issue is the neighbouring Unilever Warrington factory, which – as reported by the Guardian on Wednesday – is now up for sale.

The 6.72 acre site, which closed in October after more than 130 years, has been brought to the market by commercial real estate agent CBRE.

This listing states that the freehold is available for a ‘development opportunity’, subject to planning permission being obtained.

Although the plot is shared with PQ Corporation, Unilever’s portion borders Warrington Bank Quay to the north west.

Warrington Guardian:

Northern Powerhouse Rail, which also involves a new line from Manchester to Leeds via Bradford and improvements on the railway from Manchester to Sheffield, could create up to 74,000 jobs across the north by 2060.

Transport for the North has written to the Government urging it to back plans for ‘badly-needed’ investment in the region.

Capacity on the current Liverpool to Manchester line through Warrington is severely limited at present, and has resulted in a limited number of trains calling at the new Warrington West station in Chapelford.

Project director Tim Wood said on Tuesday: “This is the culmination of years of work on the original Northern Powerhouse vision to radically connect the north’s communities by rail, create jobs and boost the northern economy for decades to come.

“Communities and businesses want to see certainty on what will be delivered and when in order to make key investment decisions and create new opportunities.

“We hope that the significant body of evidence, worked up alongside the Department for Transport, will be reflected in an ambitious commitment to investment in the north in the Government’s integrated rail plan – we can then swiftly press on with joint delivery for the northern public.

“We’ve done the work together, now let’s get on and deliver for the north together.”

Transport for the North also recommends connecting Sheffield to HS2, with upgrades onwards to Leeds and then Hull, as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail.

‘Significant’ improvements would also be made to the East Coast Mainline from Leeds to Newcastle via York and Darlington.

It is hoped that the plans will add £14.4billion to the UK’s economy and take around 58,000 cars of the country’s roads.

Phased construction work could begin in the mid-2020s if the scheme is passed.