Monday 16 Aug 2021
Major 16-day railway overhaul completed in Manchester as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade
- Work to reconstruct/strengthen railway bridges and upgrade track in central Manchester was completed by Network Rail this morning (16 August)
- Railway lines between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale and Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge have fully reopened following successful completion of the work with final finishing touches being made on Sunday 22 August, Sundays throughout September and the weekend of 2/3 October
- This forms part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) which will bring faster, more reliable services to passengers travelling between Manchester and York, via Huddersfield and Leeds
Railway passengers in Greater Manchester move one step closer to faster, more frequent, more reliable trains after major railway upgrades were completed on time between Manchester Victoria, Rochdale and Stalybridge.
Work took place from Saturday 31 July until Sunday 15 August to completely reconstruct railway bridges on Dantzic Street and Queens Road and strengthen and waterproof Bromley Street and Oldham Road bridges.
Over 3000m of track was upgraded and track remodelled between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge. 17 new signals were also installed.
Further work takes place as planned on Sunday 22 August, Sundays throughout September and the weekend of 2 and 3 October, to make the final changes with less disruption to passengers. All TransPennine Express (TPE) services will again be diverted into Manchester Piccadilly, with TPE services between Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool being operated by rail replacement buses on Sundays. Buses will also replace Northern services between Stalybridge and Manchester Victoria calling at Ashton-under-Lyne.
This work is essential to enable more trains and faster trains to run in future. The newly renovated bridges now allow increased weight loading of more trains and the new and remodelled track will allow trains to run at faster speeds.
This milestone is a crucial part of the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade. This major railway upgrade programme will improve connectivity in the North of England by providing faster, more reliable services for passengers travelling between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.
Neil Holm, Transpennine Route Upgrade Director for Network Rail, said: “We’ve made major progress across Greater Manchester on this key part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade. Our teams have worked around the clock over the past 16 days to improve journeys for passengers.
“As well as bringing more reliable services, this complex upgrade will eventually allow more trains and faster trains to run on the busy route between Manchester and York.
“We carefully planned the work to keep passengers moving during the upgrade. I want to say a big thank you to passengers for their patience while the improvements took place.”
Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express added: “These works completed as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade are the first step to improving capacity and journey times across the Pennines. We’d like to thank everyone involved in the engineering works that have taken place across the last 16 days, helping to create a more reliant and resilient railway for our customers to travel on. We’d also like to thank our customers for their patience throughout the works.”
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The Transpennine Route Upgrade is a vital part of the future of rail in the North and it’s great to see this first phase completed – paving the way for further enhancement work on this crucial business and leisure corridor.
“As an industry we have worked closely to keep disruption to a minimum, and our customers on the move, and we are all grateful for the understanding shown by those who rely on our services to get them where they need to be.”
Notes to Editors
Transpennine Route Upgrade
Stretching across the North of England between York and Manchester, via Leeds and Huddersfield, the 76-mile Transpennine railway serves 23 stations, crosses over and dips under 285 bridges and viaducts, passes through six miles of tunnels, and crosses over 29 level crossings.
TRU will transform this line into a high-performing, reliable railway for passengers with greater punctuality, more trains and improved journey times. The scale of the project means that there will be planned disruption to train services to enable work to be carried out, but we are committed to keeping passengers moving on a train as often as possible, on time and in comfort as a key priority.
In July 2020, the government announced £589m of funding to kickstart the programme. A further £317m investment was announced last month, totalling £906m.
The work this summer is being delivered by the TRU West Alliance including Network Rail, Arup, Bam Nuttall and Amey.
Find out more: networkrail.co.uk/TRU
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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.
Usually, there are almost five 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.