Train travels through Greater Manchester

North West electrification helping the industry meet its climate targets

The programme of electrification currently underway in the North West is helping the rail industry meet its climate obligations as highlighted at COP26.

This also plays a role in levelling up the North of England following on from the announcement that the North West will receive £84m in rail investment.

There is no better example of this work than the project taking place in Greater Manchester between Wigan and Bolton.

The 6.5-mile line between Wigan North Western on the West Coast Main Line and Lostock junction is currently being electrified.

A total of 25,000 volts of power is being delivered to the line between Wigan and Lostock Junction which is situated on the Bolton to Manchester corridor.

The £78m project is funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) is expected to be completed in 2024.

Phil James, Network Rail Route Director for the North West recently commented on the benefits of the work between Wigan and Bolton.

Mr James said: “[The scheme] will give passengers faster and more reliable journeys, with more seats.

“The Wigan to Bolton electrification is one of many workstreams being introduced to drive up train performance across the North.

“It’s being fully endorsed by the Manchester Recovery Task Force Board.

“[This is] a team of frontline rail industry experts who are fixing the North of England timetable and developing plans to grow the network.”

The scheme forms part of the rail industry’s ambition to support a green recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the fact rail remains one of the greenest modes of travel, diesel trains currently account for the majority of carbon emissions emitted.

The switch from diesel to electric trains will help reduce industry running costs whilst improving local air quality.

Projects like this will help the rail industry move closer to achieving the Government’s target of net zero by 2050.


Rail industry leaders are set to meet to discuss about the huge projects being undertaken at this years TransCityRail North event, for more information click here.

RTM Dec/Jan 23


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