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Electrification upgrade: Preston to Bolton line to close at weekends for 4 months

The Preston to Bolton line will be closed every weekend for four months to allow for electrification upgrade work.

Track through the area will be lowered to accommodate new overhead equipment for the electric trains, which are due to run from Preston to Manchester via Bolton from the end of 2017.

Both of Chorley’s platforms will be rebuilt and the roofs over two subways inside and next to the station will be replaced to support an increase in train services.

Noel Connolly, senior programme manager for Network Rail, said: “We are investing heavily in the railway as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan to provide passengers with the railway that will meet their needs for many decades to come and help boost the economy across the north of England.

“An electrified railway is part of this and will mean a better, more reliable railway for passengers. To deliver it, significant engineering is required to move and lower the track through Chorley and there is no other option but to close the line at weekends while this is carried out.

“The work has been carefully planned to cause as little disruption to passengers as possible and we are working closely with the train operators regarding amended services and will keep passengers informed.”

The line between Preston and Bolton will close every weekend from 18 June to 2 October while the upgrades take place, causing disruptions to some weekend and mid-week evening services.

Train services between Preston and Manchester will be diverted via Wigan, with bus replacement services in operation for passengers travelling between Preston and Bolton.

Other expected disruptions are the closure of platform 1 at Chorley, which will be replaced by a temporary platform.

Redevelopment on platform 2 at Chorley will be carried out in stages so the platform won’t have to close.

The Preston to Manchester electrification programme has previously been subject to a four-month delay in the reopening of a bridge at Blackrod.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “It's really good to see the infrastructure improvements being continued in Chorley as it is much needed for residents and visitors to the borough who travel by train.

“We as a council are going to be improving the entrance points into the town from the train station so we're looking forward to working with Network Rail on this and making our station one to be proud of that provides a welcoming gateway into our town centre.”

Network Rail is holding information events from 4 to 7pm today at Chorley Town Hall and from 9am to 1pm on 14 May at Chorley Station.

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Andrew Gwilt   10/05/2016 at 23:16

Most of the Class 319's are to be cascaded to Northern England with 20 of the 319's already in service between Manchester and Liverpool and once the Preston to Bolton line is electrified to Bolton, Wigan and Manchester. The Class 319's would also be used on the newly electrified route between Preston and Manchester.

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