Network Rail has issued a reminder to rail passengers that they face changes to services between Manchester and Preston via Bolton as the transport body looks to finally complete the upgrade of the railway.
As part of the Great North Rail project, there will be a nine-day closure of the railway, from this Saturday, 25 August until Sunday 2 September, with buses replacing trains.
Engineers will also continue midweek overnight working and weekend working until Sunday 4 November.
The upgrade will provide passengers with better, more reliable electric services as part of a much-needed, but often delayed and heavily criticised investment across the North’s railway infrastructure. The electrification project started in May 3015 and was originally due to be completed by the end of 2016.
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 plan to transform train travel for customers across the North through track and train improvements.
“This short-term disruption is necessary to complete these vital upgrades and it’s important to remember 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.”
The Manchester-Bolton-Preston upgrade covers more than 25 miles of track and infrastructure upgrades. 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.
Passengers are advised to check with National Rail Enquiries before they travel, or with their train operator for the latest information.