Latest Rail News


Farnworth Tunnel electrification work to start next week

Farnworth Tunnel closes for six months from next week as Network Rail rebuild it as part of the Manchester to Preston electrification project.

The closure of one of the two tunnels for rebuilding between Saturday 2 May and Sunday 4 October will cause major disruption to services between Bolton and Manchester, with an amended timetable in action.

The other tunnel will remain open, to allow some train services to continue to operate.

The existing tunnels are too small for the overhead lines needed so one of them is being filled in with concrete and then re-bored, making it large enough for both sets of railway lines and the overhead equipment.

Network Rail will also be reconstructing a retaining wall, reconstructing a road bridge, making changes to both platforms at Farnworth Station, installing new track between Bolton and Moses Gate, making alterations at Moses Gate Station and replacing a pedestrian level crossing near Kearsley with a footbridge.

Around 7,000 people travel on the route between Preston and Manchester in peak times with around 2,000 joining at Bolton. Passengers are being asked to avoid travelling through Bolton and travel via Preston and Wigan if possible.

A spokesperson on behalf of Northern Rail and First TransPennine Express commented: “The work will lay the foundations for a much improved railway, where in the future we are able to provide more capacity, faster journeys and a greener travel experience.

“However this engineering project is extremely complex and we appreciate the disruption that it will cause to customers’ journeys.”

As well as the amended weekday service, there will be no trains running between Bolton and Manchester during weekends until the railway reopens on Monday 5 October.

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


Kevin Bennett   08/05/2015 at 20:56

Seems like a good option - for tunnelling contractors! How about a method that cuts strengthening ribs into the roof of the tunnel, that then allows the crown to be ground back until sufficient clearance is achieved? And futher, do one rib per night (cut and replace) so the tunnel can still be used during the day. Interested? Call Freyssinet 07788 658721. Its been done before many times.

Add your comment



rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

HS2 kicks off the bid race to build Curzon Street station

19/11/2018HS2 kicks off the bid race to build Curzon Street station

HS2 has announced the start of its search for contractors to build its new £435m Curzon Street station. Around four contractors will b... more >
A transport network ‘on its knees’ is slowly catching up in the north, says Grayling

16/11/2018A transport network ‘on its knees’ is slowly catching up in the north, says Grayling

Chris Grayling has said that rail in the north is playing catch-up from “decades of economic neglect” and that whilst improvements in... more >
Crossrail delay to mount up £200m in lost TfL revenue, London Assembly says

16/11/2018Crossrail delay to mount up £200m in lost TfL revenue, London Assembly says

Costs incurred by the lengthy delay to London’s Crossrail project could cost Transport for London (TfL) over £200m in lost revenue, L... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News


Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

09/11/2018Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

Sponsored interview  Anything that brings about safety and time-saving benefits is a valued improvement for the rail industry, which is w... more >
Taking to the skies

30/10/2018Taking to the skies

Network Rail’s commitment to driving innovation is best encapsulated by its latest scheme involving high-definition imagery drones, or UAVs... more >
Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

29/08/2018Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

RTM’s Jack Donnelly sat down with one of the leading minds behind Network Rail’s most advanced and innovative rail maintenance techno... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Elizabeth Line: short-term pain for long-term gain?

13/11/2018Elizabeth Line: short-term pain for long-term gain?

Tim Bellenger, director of policy and investigation at London TravelWatch, discusses the deferred opening of the central section of the Elizabeth... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Challenging the perceptions of rail

13/11/2018Challenging the perceptions of rail

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Rail Industry Association (RIA) explains how the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is challenging people’... more >
Data-driven rail

13/11/2018Data-driven rail

Andy Cross, director of Elastacloud, and Lucy Bealing, from the Elastacloud Rail Centre of Excellence, discuss their innovative collaboration wit... more >
Looking ahead to the Williams Review

13/11/2018Looking ahead to the Williams Review

Darren Shirley, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, takes a look at the government’s root and branch review of the rail s... more >
Digital Railway: All change on the ECML

06/11/2018Digital Railway: All change on the ECML

Network Rail route programme director, Toufic Machnouk, explains why only a radically new approach to contracting will deliver a better service f... more >