RAIL USERS will be affected as work to deliver the ambitious multi-billion pound Great North Rail Project is continuing over Easter and beyond meaning passengers need to check before they travel.
As part of this work, Manchester Victoria will be closed to train services on Sundays until Easter and bank holiday Monday.
This is to replace old track with new and to lower track under Cheetham Hill Road bridge on the line out to Stalybridge. This will help provide faster journeys in future.
During the engineering work by Network Rail’s Team Orange, rail replacement buses will be available to take customers to their usual destinations. Normal train services will resume on Tuesday, April 3.
Passengers are advised to plan their journey ahead and check www.nationalrail.co.uk before they travel.
Work over Easter will include:
- Lowering track under Cheetham Hill Road bridge as part of Manchester to Stalybridge line speed improvement upgrade.
- Continuous work on the Manchester – Preston line to support the introduction of new and improved trains by December 2018. There will be no trains through Bolton at weekends until later in the year.
- Improvements on the Weaver to Wavertree resignalling project meaning more reliable journeys for passengers.
- Upgrade to track and signalling on the ‘Halton Curve’ that links the Chester/Warrington line and the Liverpool/Crewe line at Frodsham Junction. This will enable a new hourly service, in both directions, between Liverpool and Chester from December 2018.
Following the busy Easter schedule, Team Orange is to undertake an even more complex section of work during a closure of the line between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge between April 14-29.
This work will entail:
- Removing a signal box.
- Resignalling work to link up to the Manchester rail operating centre.
- Remodel section of track
Network Rail says the work will help move towards a more modern railway by improving line speed while the signalling system at Ashton Moss will be changed so it can be controlled from a state-of-the-art operating centre in Manchester.
During the closure, Northern services will be replaced by buses between Stalybridge and Manchester Victoria.
TransPennine Express, however, will run a service between Stalybridge and Manchester Piccadilly.
Some work will be noisy and Network Rail is holding a drop-in session on Monday, April 16 (4pm-7pm) at Ashton Cricket Club so residents can ask questions about the project.
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “The Great North Rail Project is really gathering pace and Team Orange will be out in force over Easter as we continue to work on the biggest upgrade of the railway since the Victorian era.
“Once the project is complete, passengers from across the north will benefit with improved links, quicker travel times and more reliable journeys by 2020.”
Liam Sumpter, regional director for Northern, said: “We look forward, together with our customers, to the completion of engineering work across the region.
“When complete, this work will pave the way for our brand new and fully refurbished trains – giving Northern’s customers better, brighter, faster and more comfortable journeys than ever before.”
Kathryn O’Brien, customer experience director for TransPennine Express, added: “The work taking place over Easter will create improvements for rail customers across the North.
“It will mean changes to our services between Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Victoria and customers are advised to plan their journeys in advance and check before they travel.
Please contact the relevant train operating companies for details on journeys affected.