Major track upgrade complete on Calder Valley line’s Summit Tunnel: Summit Tunnel track renewal October 2021

Tuesday 2 Nov 2021

Major track upgrade complete on Calder Valley line’s Summit Tunnel

Region & Route:
North West & Central
| North West & Central: North West

Passengers will now have smoother and more reliable journeys between Manchester and Leeds after a major track upgrade inside one of the world’s oldest railway tunnels.

Network Rail has replaced 3km of track between Littleborough and Walsden stations which includes the lines inside the 180-year-old Summit Tunnel.

The Calder Valley line reopened on Monday 1 November after a nine-day closure so work could take place as part of a £2m Great North Rail Project Investment.

During the full railway closure Network Rail also worked with the Environment Agency to upgrade a culvert beneath tracks as part of its large flood defence project*.

Karen Hornby, Network Rail’s North West head of performance and customer relationship, said: “I’d like to thank passengers and local people for their patience while we upgraded tracks between Littleborough and Todmorden as part of the Great North Rail Project. The work will mean fewer train delays for passengers on the Calder Valley line and means the tracks inside the Victorian-built structure are fit for the 21st century.

“We’re continuing our work in partnership with the Environment Agency to install a new culvert which will create a diversion for the Greenvale Brook beneath the railway.”

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “The improvements at Summit Tunnel are the latest in a huge programme of work being carried out by the rail industry to make journeys better for customers.

“The work carried out by Network Rail goes hand-in-hand with our own improvements to trains, stations and ticketing options, which are achieving our vision of making a positive impact for the North.”

For more information on the Environment Agency flood defence work visit:

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
07740 782954

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: