Major investment in Manchester’s railway this Christmas

Major investment in Manchester’s railway this Christmas

Major improvements will be getting underway at Manchester Victoria this Christmas as Network Rail delivers the next stage of its plan to electrify the railway throughout Manchester and the North West.

To allow the project to be completed safely, there will be no Northern Rail trains serving Manchester Victoria after the last service on Christmas Eve until Thursday 2 January 2014 when services resume. Customers are being advised to check travel details thoroughly when booking tickets and before they travel.

Martin Frobisher, area director for Network Rail said: “With more passengers and more journeys being made than ever before, demand for rail is booming. The work happening at Manchester Victoria is a key part of our plans to improve rail across Manchester and the north of England.

“This project represents a significant investment in the railway in Manchester and in conjunction with the Northern Hub will see more trains and faster journeys, improving travel between major towns and cities across the north.

“There is never a good time to carry out major work and on balance, completing the work over the holiday period was the best time to complete this essential project. Train services are quieter at this time of year and fewer people are expected to experience changes to their travel plans compared to the alternative, which would have been to stagger the work over dozens of weekends and bank holidays.”

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Lee Wasnidge, Area Director for Northern Rail comments: “We’d like to thank our customers for their patience during this improvement work. The long awaited redevelopment of this station is transforming the city around Victoria. This nine day blockade over Christmas will see the new concourse developing on the station as well as structural work to support electrification as it evolves across the North West.”

Northern Rail services to Liverpool, Preston, Blackpool, Wigan, Southport and Blackburn will start/terminate at Manchester Oxford Road or Salford Central

A shuttle bus will run between Salford Central – Manchester Victoria
A limited train service will operate to Moston, serving Castleton and Mills Hill
Services to/from Rochdale, Bradford and Leeds via Hebden Bridge will start/terminate at Rochdale with a rail replacement bus service to Manchester Victoria
Northern Rail services to/from Huddersfield via Stalybridge will start/terminate at Ashton-under-Lyne

Buses will run between Manchester Victoria and Ashton-under-Lyne
Additional TransPennine Express services will stop at Stalybridge providing more trains into Manchester Piccadilly
Metrolink services will continue to operate as normal from Manchester Victoria, and additional double trams will be running on the new Ashton line over the Christmas period while the improvements are delivered and the accompanying changes to Northern service are in place.

The project is part of the £400 million North West Electrification scheme that will allow electric train services to be introduced from the station in December 2014. During the closure, work will also continue to deliver the redevelopment of the station.

Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road and Manchester Deansgate stations will remain open and will not be affected by the closure.