Network Rail needs to carry out a programme of work to repair and strengthen the 250m long Holme Tunnel near the village of Holme Chapel. The work will result in the closure of the railway between Burnley Manchester Road and Todmorden for 20 weeks between November 2013 and March 2014.
Over time, movement of the ground around the tunnel has led to the tunnel lining becoming severely distorted. A 20mph speed restriction is currently in place for trains running through the tunnel, but remedial work is needed to make sure trains can continue to use the tunnel in future.
As well as relining and strengthening sections of the tunnel, allowing the speed limit to be raised to 45mph, Network Rail will also be laying new track, installing improved drainage and rebuilding the severely damaged Todmorden Portal.
Rhiannon Price, scheme project manager, said: “The work planned for Holme Tunnel will speed up journeys on this part of the railway and provide a more reliable railway for local people. Anyone who wants to find out more about the work and how it may affect them is welcome to come to our information event to speak to us in person.”
Network Rail’s contractors will set up a site compound in Holme Chapel starting on Monday 20 May to allow for the enabling works, which are scheduled to run from July to November.
The main tunnel blockade will run from Saturday 9 November 2013 to Sunday 30 March 2014, during which time a replacement bus service will operate between Burnley Manchester Road and Todmorden and Burnley Manchester Road and Hebden Bridge.
For further information, please come along to our public information session from 11am-3pm on Saturday 11 May at Cliviger Village Hall, Holme Chapel, Burnley, BB10 4SU.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain’s railway – the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts, and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.6bn journeys by rail every year - double the number of 1996 - and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We’re investing £38bn in the railway by 2019 to deliver more frequent, more reliable, safer services and brighter and better stations.