Electrification Upgrade of Rail between Preston and Manchester 2017 to May 2018

As stated on Network Rail website:

Work has been undertaken on the route to assess bridges and tunnels to ensure that there is sufficient clearance for overhead power cables to be installed. To date, we have rebuilt an aqueduct, 15 road bridges, five footbridges and completed work to enlarge the Farnworth Tunnel in Bolton.

Work is now underway to install overhead line equipment that will provide power to electric trains.

What’s happening?

We are upgrading the railway between Manchester and Preston via Bolton as part of our £1bn+ Great North Rail Project, helping deliver faster, greener, quieter and more reliable journeys in the future.


A huge amount of work has already been carried out on the route between Manchester and Preston and we are grateful to residents and passengers for their ongoing patience while we build a better railway in the north west.

To date, over 20 bridges have been reconstructed to make space for new overhead equipment that is now being installed.

Bolton station upgrade

We’ve got work taking place at Bolton station from Saturday 12 August to get the tracks, platforms and canopies ready for faster, more frequent electric train services.

The work includes reinstating platform 5, which has been out of use since the early 1990s, to allow more trains to run between Manchester and Preston. The existing platforms and canopies need adjusting to accommodate a new track alignment through the station, as well as new overhead equipment which will provide power to electric trains.

This essential work through Bolton means changes to train journeys 12 – 27 August

For 16 days between Saturday 12 August and Sunday 27 August 2017, our orange army will continue work to upgrade Bolton station in time for electric trains to run.

This work will involve restoring an unused platform, modifying existing platforms and canopies as well as remodelling track, upgrading signalling, installing overhead line equipment and building a new footbridge.

Keeping you moving

Our improvement work has been planned to cause as little disruption on the railway as possible and we are committed to keeping passengers moving.

For more information visit our Bolton station page.

Being a considerate neighbour

Some of the work required to electrify the railway can be disruptive to local residents and businesses. We will make every effort to minimise unnecessary noise when working in communities and we will be writing to our neighbours with details of where and when we will be working.

We will also be holding information events at various locations along the route, giving our neighbours the opportunity to meet our project team and to find out about the next phase of work. Keep an eye out for details of future events, which will be published here.

If you’d like to know more or to want to speak to someone about work taking place in your area, you can contact our 24 hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41, or speak to us online.

Download our leaflet to find out more about electrification in the North West.

Lostock station and Rumworth Road

We are installing a new substation to the east of Lostock station. The substation forms a vital part of our plans to enable greener and quieter electric trains to run in the future. To allow our engineers to install the new equipment, a small area of Lostock station’s car park will be temporarily closed between May and November 2017.

In addition to the substation work, we’re also rebuilding part of Rumworth Road railway bridge to make space for the future upgrade of the line between Lostock and Wigan. To enable this work, there will be a road closure from 22 May to November 2017. Pedestrian access will be maintained via a temporary footbridge and diversions for road users will be clearly signposted.

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