REPORTER Dale Haslam continues his regular column about his daily train commute in and out of Bolton
THERE are less than two weeks to go and you can almost taste the tension on the platforms.
From July 19 to August 31, train passengers using Bolton stations will experience major inconvenience getting where they are going.
To be fair to rail bosses, they have given a lot of advanced notice of the changes, though it is only now that step-by-step timetables have been printed that the scale of the inconvenience has been laid bare.
As an example, I would normally be able to choose from five trains to get from my home in Chorley to work in Bolton between 7am and 8am on a weekday. During the changes, there will be just one train in that period.
If I miss it then there is a rail replacement bus service, which seems pointless given that this bus will be dearer, slower and less frequent than the normal bus route. Why would anyone bother?
On the way home, I would usually have four or five trains an hour to choose from. During the works there will be one.
Those travelling between Preston and Bolton after 6.30pm cannot take the train as there will only be replacement buses on.
It is worse still for passengers leaving Lostock, Horwich Parkway, Blackrod and Adlington.
At the end of this process, we should have electrified lines.
As one conductor said to me last week: “You can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs.”
The key thing for passengers is to be prepared — check your timetable now for any journeys during the course of the works and try to avoid delays. Lastly, good luck — it will be a jungle out there.