Work will start next month to rebuild a number of bridges in Chorley and Bolton as part of a £400m electrification programme to provide a better railway across the north of England.
Bridges at Harpers Lane, Chorley; Railway Road, Adlington; and Lostock Lane, Bolton, will be rebuilt to allow overhead electricity lines to run underneath to power trains from December 2016.
This work will improve rail connections between Manchester and Preston via Bolton, delivering a more reliable, efficient and greener railway.
Ian Joslin, area director for Network Rail, said: “Our programme of work to electrify the railway in the north west and upgrade the infrastructure as part of the Northern Hub will provide many benefits to passengers, including faster journeys where possible and more seats and capacity.
“To deliver improvements on this scale, we have to rebuild several bridges to accommodate the new infrastructure, which means causing short-term disruption in certain areas. We have done all we can to plan the work to complete it safely in the shortest amount of time to help keep disruption to a minimum. I apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank local people for their patience while we complete these essential upgrades.”
The North West Electrification Programme is being delivered in five phases until December 2018 and will electrify 352km of track across the north west of England.
As well as providing a cleaner, faster and more reliable railway, electrification will also help to provide additional capacity, meaning more trains and more seats for passengers.
Alongside the £600m Northern Hub, which is delivering infrastructure improvements across the north west of England to complement the electrification programme, more than £1bn is being spent to improve the region’s railway.
Network Rail has worked closely with local authorities to plan the associated road closures and diversions will be clearly signposted. Local residents and businesses in areas close to the affected bridges will be written to in advance of the work.
The roads will be closed on the following dates: Harpers Lane, Chorley, 5 May - 24 October; Railway Road, Adlington, 9 June - 7 November; Lostock Lane, Bolton, 2 June - 10 October.