Next three Saturdays: buses replace trains between Wigan and Manchester as engineers upgrade the railway: GNRP Wigan to Manchester weekend closures overhead electrical work

Tuesday 20 Nov 2018

Next three Saturdays: buses replace trains between Wigan and Manchester as engineers upgrade the railway

Region & Route:
London North Western
North West Central

The railway between Wigan Wallgate and Manchester will be closed for the next three Saturdays (24 November and 1 & 8 December) as Network Rail engineers complete a major upgrade.

The additional shifts of work are needed to complete the Manchester-Bolton-Preston electrification scheme - part of the Great North Rail Project to transform train travel for customers across the north.

Closing the railway between Wigan Wallgate and Manchester, via Atherton and Bolton, means Northern customers on those routes will be offered buses instead of trains. Northern will, however, operate an hourly express service between Wigan North Western and Manchester Victoria.

Duncan Law, Network Rail sponsor, said: “We sincerely apologise for the very short notice we have given Northern and its customers.  The additional Saturdays are needed to ensure the project is finished by the end of the year.

"Passengers planning journeys this Saturday are urged to check before they travel at or directly with their train company. That way they’ll have the very latest information.”

During the closures, engineers will make final adjustments to new overhead electric wires and complete installation of a new power supply.

An electrified railway between Manchester and Preston paves the way for faster, greener, quieter and more reliable trains in future.

The Great North Rail Project forms part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan. It is a series of track and train upgrades which will bring long-term improvements for customers.

Contact information

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

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Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
0330 854 0100

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 4.8 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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