Thursday 15 Aug 2019
Track upgrade means faster and reliable journeys for passengers on the Mid-Cheshire line
Passengers travelling between Chester and Manchester via Altrincham are benefitting from faster and smoother journeys thanks to modernised railway tracks.
The £800,000 investment as part of the Great North Rail Project saw old sleepers, railway stone and rail brought completely up to date.
The previous poor condition of the track through the ‘Bleeding wolf’* area of Hale meant trains could only travel at 20mph. Now with stronger and more water resilient track in place, the speed of trains has tripled to 60mph.
Adrian Brookes, planning manager at Network Rail said: “Our £800,000 Great North Rail Project investment means that Northern’s trains can travel at top speeds of 60mph instead of 20mph previously. This will help Cheshire and Greater Manchester passengers get to their places of work or leisure more comfortably, faster and more reliably.
“We are very grateful to passengers and lineside neighbours for their patience during late July and early August while the railway was closed to complete this vital renewal work.”
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “Thanks to the Great North Rail Project the track at Altrincham is now future-proofed, improving and protecting the journeys of our customers for years to come.
“I’d like to, again, thank those customers who use the line for their patience whilst this essential work was carried out.”
Simon Elliott, head of rail programme at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “This upgrade is a superb example of the Great North Rail project in action. It will mean faster, more comfortable journeys and hopefully encourage more people to choose to travel by train.”
Around 2,500 tonnes of ballast (railway stone), 700 new sleepers and 500m of new drainage were laid over a 1km section of track over three consecutive Sundays – 30 June, and 7 and 14 July - and throughout the weekend of 10 and 12 August.
For the latest news from the Great North Rail Project click here to follow @TheGNRP on Twitter.
Notes to Editors
*The Bleeding Wolf area of railway through Hale was so-called because in the 13th century, as legend has it, the Earl of Chester was attacked by an injured wolf and saved by local forester Adam De Lauton.
As a reward, King John granted him as much land ‘as he could walk in a day’ – land on which the railway now stands.
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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.