First electric test train passes through Bolton as upgrade nears completion: Electric train passing through Bolton station

Friday 14 Dec 2018

First electric test train passes through Bolton as upgrade nears completion

Region & Route:
London North Western
North West Central

An electric train has run between Manchester and Preston via Bolton for the first time.

This marks the latest milestone in the Great North Rail Project, the rail industry’s joint programme to transform train travel for customers through track and train upgrades.

Last night (13 December) an electric train was used to test the new infrastructure along the 25-mile route via Salford, Bolton and Chorley.

The train was closely monitored by Network Rail engineers checking the new overhead power lines.

This week’s test runs are the first of two phases to check new electrical infrastructure works correctly. The second, in early January, will check the infrastructure can handle faster train speeds for improved passenger journey times.

The Manchester-Preston upgrade will give Northern and TransPennine Express customers faster and more comfortable journeys as a new fleet of electric trains replace old Pacer trains.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail’s London and North Western route said: “This challenging upgrade has been really disruptive for passengers and our train operating partners who use this route. We’re sorry for this.

"I would like to thank local people for their patience, and I hope this milestone reassures them the end is in sight.”

Contact information

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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