Bolton Cor­ri­dor closed to en­able wir­ing progress

Rail (UK) - - Network News -

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.

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