Bolton Corridor closed to enable wiring progress
A nine-day closure of the Bolton Corridor to complete electrification work was carried out from August 25 to September 2.
It included installing 78 of the 98 wiring runs that are being attached to more than 1,500 newly installed catenary masts.
The project is severely delayed. Electric trains were supposed to have started operating on the line from December 2016, and then (following initial delays) from December last year.
The work is now part of the Great North Rail Project, described by Network Rail London and North Western Route Managing Director Martin Frobisher as “the rail industry’s plan to transform train travel for customers across the North through track and train improvements”.
Frobisher added: “This shortterm disruption is necessary to complete these vital upgrades, and it’s important to remember the long-term improvements which will be delivered.
He did not acknowledge the delays, which were mentioned in his appearance at the Transport Select Committee on June 18, and which form one of the reasons why Northern was unable to introduce services from the May 20 timetable change as planned.
The Manchester-Bolton-Preston project features 25 miles of track and infrastructure work, including the widening and rebuilding of Farnworth Tunnel, remodelling track and platforms at Chorley and Bolton stations, renewing 13,883 metres of track, replacing 93 signals, and laying 236,000 metres of cable.
Overnight midweek work will continue until November 4, as will weekend work. The first electric trains are due to cover the route on test in October.