Tuesday 26 Jun 2018
Manchester-Preston railway upgrade – final programme of work confirmed
- London North Western
Network Rail today warned train customers of forthcoming disruption as it works to complete its Manchester-Bolton-Preston railway upgrade.
- Railway upgrade engineers will continue mid-week overnight working and weekend working until Sunday 4 November.
- The programme includes a nine-day closure of the railway, from 25 August until Sunday 2 September, when buses will replace trains.
Martin Frobisher, managing director for Network Rail’s London and North Western route, said: “Our Manchester-Preston upgrade is part of the Great North Rail Project, the rail industry’s team effort to transform train travel for customers across the North through track and train improvements.
“I’m sorry for the further short-term disruption that this work will cause, but please don’t lose sight of the long-term improvements which will be delivered. In future electric-powered, greener, faster, more frequent, more spacious, more reliable trains will become the norm through the Bolton corridor.”
Martin added: “We recognise the May timetable change resulted in poorer service for many customers than it should have done. We are working together with our train company partners to resolve current issues as soon as possible.”
In early January Network Rail announced delays to its May 2018 deadline to complete its Preston-Manchester upgrade.
This was caused by unforeseen poor ground conditions hampering engineers’ progress installing foundations for masts to carrying overhead power lines.
Delays to progress were compounded by the collapse of Carillion, the lead contractor for the scheme.
With Amey having now replaced Carillion as the main contractor, progress is accelerating. There now only remains three problem foundations (from a total of 1,659). With 117 masts (from a total of 1,519) still to install.
The Manchester-Bolton-Preston upgrade is over 25 miles of track and is vast in scale. It has involved the widening and rebuilding of Farnworth Tunnel, remodelling of tracks and platforms through Chorley and Bolton stations, the renewal of 13,883m of track, replacement of 93 signals, and the laying of 236,000m of cables.
All passengers who travel through the Bolton corridor are advised to check before they travel on www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operator.
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.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.