Latest Rail News

10.11.15

Full Farnworth Tunnel services to resume next month

Full services will resume through Farnworth Tunnel on 14 December after new tracks are brought in to use at the recently re-bored structure.

Works on the tunnel went from being ahead of schedule in August to being delayed until next month, after Network Rail stumbled upon “exceptionally poor ground conditions”.

But the Manchester-Bolton route will now be reopened for passenger services after a short weekend closure to bring the new electrified tracks into use.

The new section of railway will initially be limited by a speed restriction set to be removed after further work in the New Year, meaning the track will face additional closure in January.

Completing the tunnel will require specialist equipment, meaning Network Rail had to choose an appropriate date to finish leftover works. This two-stage solution was agreed to by the rail industry after considering all options.

But next month’s normal timetable will enable Northern Rail to restore its train service frequency and station calls, as well as providing longer trains.

Nick Spall, Network Rail’s route delivery director, said: “Farnworth Tunnel is an extremely complex engineering challenge being delivered as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. Breaking through to complete the tunnel was a key milestone for the project.

“There is more work to do before we can bring this new section of railway into use. This will require a short closure of the railway.

“We have worked closely with Northern Rail and First TransPennine Express to plan the work to cause the least amount of disruption to passengers.”

Works on the tunnel, which started in April, have seen more than 30,000 tonnes of material removed from the 270m route so it could be re-bored and enlarged to house two new electrified tracks.

Comments

Robert Hill   10/11/2015 at 14:58

"But the Manchester-Bolton route will now be reopened for passenger services after a short weekend closure to bring the new electrified tracks into use." You're getting ahead of yourself. There are no wires up yet, nor will be this year.

Resident   11/11/2015 at 13:41

New Tunnel.... New troubles, no electric, no water, dangerous incidents, thoughtless contractors and network Rail in hiding as always. Get finished and get gone, good riddance to the lot of you....

Nonsuchmike   15/11/2015 at 15:45

All railway tunnels throughout the world are "extremely complex engineering challenges", so one should expect "exceptionally poor ground conditions" whether in Farnworth, Failsworth, Fareham or Finchley. From what the locals are saying, there was poor recce-ing beforehand, or at least failure to translate their information into appropriate courses of action on (under) the ground. Why is there so little joined up thinking and action on these relatively minor projects? Major to the locality, yes, but in the scheme of the whole Northern Hub and NWML relatively small beer. Or are these set backs being logged so that they can be used as an argument against further rail expansion of use to passengers and freight alike, and be used as a stick to beat us into accepting miles and miles of more, soon to be congested, Trunk Roads?

Boltonian Bert   30/12/2015 at 14:08

This work will bring a welcome improvement to our daily commute. However delays resulted from unanticipated ground conditions. Doesn't this mean estimate overrun? What hope of anything approaching an affordable execution of HS2 is there, given this one small example of tunneling? Look at the pictures of the boring machines needed! How many of these does Mr Spall have?

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