Major bridge reconstruction work starts in Manchester – passengers reminded to check journeys: Major bridge reconstruction work starts in Manchester – passengers reminded to check journeys

Wednesday 4 Aug 2021

Major bridge reconstruction work starts in Manchester – passengers reminded to check journeys

Region & Route:
| Eastern: North & East
  • Work to reconstruct and strengthen railway bridges in central Manchester has started and will continue until Sunday 15 August
  • Passengers travelling through Manchester Victoria are being urged to check their journeys at
  • This work is 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 engineers have started major upgrade work to completely reconstruct railway bridges on Dantzic Street and Queens Road and strengthen and waterproof Bromley Street and Oldham Road bridges in Manchester.

During the 16-day upgrade programme (31 July – 15 August) there are changes to services between Yorkshire and Manchester. Network Rail, Northern and Transpennine Express have built a plan to keep passengers moving on trains across the Pennines as much as possible.

Some journeys may need to be completed partly by bus, primarily between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria. The latest, state-of-the-art buses will be available to passengers so they can travel in comfort throughout.

Passengers looking to travel over this period are being urged to check

Timelapse footage showing steel beams being lifted into place, with the help of a 650-tonne crane at Dantzic Street, has been released by Network Rail. Over 3000m of track is also being upgraded to bring smoother, more reliable journeys.

This work forms part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU), a multi-billion pound, transformative, long-term railway infrastructure programme between York, Leeds and Manchester which will improve connectivity in the North.

Neil Holm, Transpennine Route Upgrade Director for Network Rail, said: “Our improvement work in Greater Manchester is a key part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU), which will enable more trains and faster trains to run between Manchester and York in future.

“This major upgrade includes demolishing ageing railway bridges to install new ones, upgrading track and installing new signals. Though we can’t keep these railway lines open through Manchester Victoria while we do this, we’ve created diversionary routes so passengers can still get in and out of Manchester by train as much as possible.

“Thank you to passengers travelling this summer for your understanding while we deliver these much-needed improvements.”

Tricia Williams, Northern’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “It is welcome news that the railway continues to be invested in and the infrastructure improved upon.

“To complete these initial works there will be some planned changes to our services and our message to customers is very simple - please plan ahead and check your journey before travelling.

“To minimise disruption we will be running state-of-the-art replacement buses, offering clear customer information, including via digital and social channels, and will have more colleagues at stations to provide assistance both before and during the engineering works.”

Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express commented: “We’re delighted to see continued investment in the North of England’s railway as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade. And with these works this summer, we will see a better, more reliable railway for our customers.

“To complete these engineering works, some of our services will be diverted and customers may have to change trains in Manchester, so we would advise those travelling to check before they travel. To help with those affected, there will be more railway colleagues at stations to help people get to 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:

The following changes to services are in place between Saturday 31 July and Sunday 15 August:

Leeds – Manchester Victoria via Todmorden and Rochdale

  • Trains will start/terminate at Moston station.
  • Express buses will run between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria and between Manchester Victoria and Moston. No calling buses will run between Rochdale and Moston.

Ashton-under-Lyne – Manchester

  • Trains will not run, but Metrolink services will be available to/from Manchester Piccadilly.
  • On Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August only, Metrolink services will not run on the Ashton line due to engineering work. Replacement bus services will be in place for passengers.

Liverpool Lime Street – Newcastle

  • Trains from Liverpool Lime Street will be diverted to run to/from Manchester Airport via Manchester Piccadilly. Newcastle services will start/terminate at Manchester Piccadilly for onward connections.

Manchester – Leeds/York/Hull/Redcar

  • Trains will divert to/from Manchester Piccadilly only

Stalybridge – Manchester via Guide Bridge

  • Trains between Leeds (via Huddersfield) and Manchester Piccadilly will divert via Stalybridge and Guide Bridge.
  • Buses will run between Stalybridge, Ashton-under-Lyne and Guide Bridge.

Road closures:

Some roads will be closed and diversions will be in place in Central Manchester while bridge reconstruction work takes place:

  • Closure of Dantzic Street:15 July – 25 August.
  • Closure of Gould Street 15 July – 25 August
  • Closure of Queens Road: 17 July – 16 August.
  • Closure of Irk Street: 15 July – 25 August
  • Closure of Aspin Lane: 15 July – 25 August
  • Closure of Bromley Street: 8 July – 30 August


Essential maintenance works are taking place across the Metrolink network at the same time to minimise overall disruption to passengers.

  • Between 31 July and 9 August, 14 – 16 August and 21 – 23 August, no services will operate through Victoria.
  • In addition, the Metrolink Eccles line will be closed between 19 July and 1 August and there will be additional changes to some services while work is carried out near to Piccadilly Gardens between 31 July and 6 August.
  • A bus replacement service will be in operation and additional staff will be out across the network to help customers. 

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Kathryn Muffett
Media Relations Manager
Network Rail
01904 383180

About Network Rail

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: