TRAIN passengers will be unable to travel between Bolton and Blackburn for nearly six weeks this summer as £14 million improvement work is carried out.

Network Rail will be working to install an additional track on the Clitheroe to Manchester line — one mile either side of Darwen Station.

The project will mean that no services will run between Blackburn and Bolton from July 17 until August 24, affecting stops at Hall i’ th’ Wood, Bromley Cross and Darwen.

The project — which is being funded by the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council — aims to provide the necessary capacity for a more reliable, frequent service throughout the day between Manchester and Blackburn, with two trains per hour by 2017.

The idea is to double the number of services running on the line from one to two per hour.

Terry Strickland, area director for Network Rail, said: “This essential upgrade will provide a better, faster, more reliable railway for passengers travelling between Manchester and Clitheroe for many decades to come.

“We have worked closely with the LEP, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and Northern Rail to plan the work and I urge passengers to check before they travel for the latest information and thank them in advance for their cooperation and patience.”

A bus replacement service will operate between Blackburn and Bolton calling at Hall i’ th’ Wood, Bromley Cross and Darwen.

Customers wishing to use Entwistle, which is a request stop, will be able to catch a bus replacement service from Monday to Friday with a bus on standby throughout the weekend.

Northern Rail operates the service between Manchester Victoria and Clitheroe and managing director Alex Hynes said: “This investment in infrastructure will lead to a real improvement in performance for our customers on this line of route.

"Providing a longer section of double track will enable a half hourly daytime service in the future, creating more travel opportunities for Lancashire communities and helping deliver even more people to urban centres such as Manchester and beyond.”

Bromley Cross councillor Norman Critchley said: “This is a very important railway line and the work will double the number of trains passing through Bromley Cross and that is a great thing.”