network rail

One of the world's oldest tunnels to undergo improvement works

One of the world’s oldest railway tunnels is set to undergo improvement works in the hopes of increasing reliability.

Work will kickstart in Autumn, with Network Rail set to upgrade the tracks of the 180-year-old Summit Tunnel - between Rochdale and Hebden Bridge - as part of their £2m Great North Rail Project investment.

The tunnel was built between 1838 and 1841 as part of the Manchester and Leeds railway, and 3km of track across both railway lines will be replaced inside the 2.6km long tunnel.  

The railway will have to close for several days, across October 23 and October 31, for the essential work to be carried out safely.

Network Rail

Rail replacement buses will be made available to keep passengers on the move between Rochdale and Hebden Bridge.

Karen Hornby, Network Rail’s North West head of Performance and Customer Relationship, said "we appreciate passengers' patience while we carry out these vital improvements to Summit tunnel as part of the Great North Rail Project."

She contined, "the work will mean fewer train delays on the Calder valley line and make tracks inside the Victorian-built structure fit for the 21st century."

Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, added "the work being carried out by Network Rail is vital and will provide our customers with an even more reliable railway.”

Network Rail

The Environment Agency will also be working in partnership with Network Rail, to update a culvert beneath the railway lines, as part of a wider flood defence project in the area to protect 1,000 homes from flood risk.

Nick Pearson, Senior Flood Risk Advisor with the Environment Agency, said "working in partnership with Network Rail as part of the proposed £56m Rochdale and Littleborough Flood Risk Management Scheme will make a huge difference to rail passengers, residents and the local economy."

He added, "this project, one of the biggest flood alleviation schemes in the north of England, will play a crucial role in better protecting the community from the risk of flooding and we are pleased to see it progress.”

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