Passengers to be kept on the move during major railway improvement works around Manchester: Passengers to be kept on the move during major railway improvement works around Manchester

Friday 11 Jun 2021

Passengers to be kept on the move during major railway improvement works around Manchester

Region & Route:
| Eastern: North & East

Next month, railway engineers will be undertaking a two-week, round-the-clock improvement blitz between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale and Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge.

Improvements are planned Saturday 31 July – Sunday 15 August as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU). TRU is a multi-billion-pound programme of railway upgrades that will radically improve connectivity in the North of England – providing faster, more reliable services for passengers travelling between York, Leeds and Manchester.

The majority of passengers will be kept on the move by diverting trains onto different railway lines between Yorkshire and Manchester.

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 and continue to follow Government guidance around the use of public transport. 

Neil Holm, Transpennine Route Upgrade Director for Network Rail, said: “Our improvement work in Greater Manchester, starting next month, is a key part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU).

“During this complex upgrade we’ll be demolishing ageing railway bridges to install new ones and upgrading track. This work is crucial to enable us to run more trains and faster trains in future as part of the wider TRU programme. 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.

“Where buses need to replace to trains, we’ve worked with our industry colleagues to ensure they’re the best quality throughout.”

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.


Travel advice for the period 31 July and 15 August is as follows:


Passengers travelling 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*

*there will be no calling buses between Rochdale and Moston

Passengers travelling Ashton-under-Lyne – Manchester

  • Trains will not run, but Metrolink services will be available to/from Manchester Piccadilly (apart from Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August*)

*Metrolink services will not run on the Ashton line on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August due to engineering work, but replacement buses will be in place.

Passengers travelling 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

Passengers travelling Manchester – Leeds/York/Hull/Redcar

  • Trains will divert to/from Manchester Piccadilly only

Passengers travelling 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



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. 


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

Passengers with mobility support needs are asked to arrange assistance as normal through Passenger Assist at

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.

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