Work to complete the Manchester to Preston railway upgrade is continuing, alongside work on other key parts of the Great North Rail Project, in 2018.
From January 2018, Network Rail engineers will be working to complete the upgrade of the 25-mile stretch of track between Manchester and Preston to support the introduction of better trains.
The project was due to complete this December, but old mine workings, running sand and varying layers of rock have significantly hampered the installation of hundreds of steel columns needed to carry the power cables for the introduction of electric trains. New engineering solutions have been required to resolve the problems which has included using steel cylinders and filling them with concrete to deal with poor ground conditions
To allow engineers to access the railway, sections will need to be closed during some weekdays and weekends starting from 6 January 2018. This will affect journeys in and out of Manchester from destinations including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxenholme, Penrith, Lancaster, Preston, Liverpool, Wigan, Chorley and Bolton. There will also likely be further closures when the work is being tested and trains are put in to service.
The work will mean major changes for our customers travelling across the region and into Scotland. Network Rail are currently working finalise full details and will provide further updates as soon as possible.
Customers travelling across the north west are urged to plan ahead by checking www.nationalrail.co.uk, or by returning to this page where links to revised timetables for all affected Northern services will be available as soon as possible.