Summit Tunnel

Track upgrades to start on Summit Tunnel track this weekend

Major upgrade work is set to take place this weekend between Rochdale and Hebden Bridge as part of a £2m Great North Rail Project investment.

Network Rail will replace the track through the 180-year-old Summit Tunnel on the Calder Valley line.

Work will commence on Saturday 23rd October and is expected to take nine days and will require full closure of the tracks.

Around 3km of track will be replaced on both railway lines within the 2.6km long tunnel.

From 23rd October to 31st October rail replacement buses will be operating between Rochdale and Hebden Bridge.

During weekends buses will replace rail services between Rochdale and Manchester.

Rail replacement buses will also operate between Hebden Bridge, Burnley Manchester Road and Accrington stations.

Network Rail are keen to acknowledge any disruption this may cause for passengers but stated the importance of the work.

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.

“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.

“Replacing track like this means we have no choice but to close the line for old sections to be ripped up and replaced with new.”

Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern believes that despite the disruptions, customers will benefit from the work with a more dependable service in future.

Mr Jackson said: “The work being carried out by Network Rail is vital and will provide our customers with an even more reliable railway.

“We are sorry for any disruption during the improvements.

“Our customers can be assured that both Northern and Network Rail will do everything possible to minimise the impact of the work.”

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