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Electrification for Wigan-Bolton line

Money from the Local Pinch Point Fund will be used to support electrification between Wigan and Bolton, the DfT has announced.

The line from Wigan North Western station and Bolton’s Lostock Junction will be upgraded. The full cost of the project is estimated at £37m and is due to be complete by 2017, to allow faster and more reliable services for the area.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Whether it’s unblocking bottlenecks on local roads, improving trouble spots on our motorways and trunk roads, or working to deliver better railways through electrification, these projects will benefit communities up and down the country and help keep Britain moving. By investing in our local and regional transport infrastructure we can help support new jobs and boost our overall competitiveness in the global economic race.”

A taskforce of rail experts will also report to the transport secretary within 12 months on the acceleration of further rail electrification schemes in the north of England. The routes to be examined include:

Leeds – Harrogate – York

Selby – Hull

Sheffield – Leeds

Sheffield – Doncaster

East Coast Main Line – Middlesbrough

Sheffield – Manchester

Warrington– Chester

Crewe – Chester

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


Nonsuchmike   13/12/2013 at 15:18

I am delighted that they are announcing the electrification and upgrading of this short stretch now in 2013, when it will be completed as soon as 2017. Makes you proud to be British. I bet the Chinese would do it all in, oooh, say, six to eight weeks.

Clive B   16/12/2013 at 16:53

What about building platforms at Lostock on the Wigan line. This would make sense and create an interchange at Lostock with the Bolton to Preston line.

Grahamh   23/12/2013 at 19:06

Clive, I think the previous station had them. Pity they closed it!

Jules   24/12/2013 at 11:21

I assume that the Southport to Manchester trains some of which at present are routed via Bolton will (in 2017) all be routed via Atherton. This may be an opportunity to increase the frequency on the Atherton line (even though Bolton will lose a through service to Southport): Southport to Manchester via Atherton (two per hour), Kirkby to Manchester (via Atherton) (hourly): giving a twenty minute service on the Atherton line. I think we ought to know what the intended changes will be; perhaps local groups/authorities should know in advance so that they might help "tweak" the service armed with local knowledge.

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