ENGINEERS say work which has closed the railway line through Bolton is set to be completed on time.

The upgrades - part of the Great North Rail Project (GNRP) - include the addition of overhead wiring to allow for electric trains to travel between Manchester and Preston.

However, to complete the work, Network Rail, which manages the country’s railway lines, decided to cancel all services in Bolton for a nine-day period which is due to end on Monday.

This means passengers from Bolton, Moses Gate, Farnworth, Kearsley, Lostock, Horwich Parkway and Blackrod stations have all been travelling on replacement bus services.


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The work began on Saturday, August 25, and has included the erection of overhead wiring at Bolton station, Lostock and the Farnworth Tunnel.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “Work to upgrade the Manchester-Bolton-Preston railway continues at pace as we near the end of our nine-day closure.

“Team Orange engineers are working round the clock to install new overhead electrical wires and get station platforms ready for more reliable electric trains.

“The work is being delivered as part of the rail industry’s multi-billion pound Great North Rail Project which will help to transform customer journeys with the introduction of more modern electric trains.

“We remain on track to reopen the railway to mid-week train services on Monday morning.”

The GNRP is a regional plan put in place as part of the Government’s efforts to support Northern public transport.

The North-West section of the project is expected to cost £1 billion at completion and includes the electrification of around 186 miles of track to allow for new electric trains to run.

In Bolton, this has included the widening and rebuilding of the Farnworth Tunnel, the replacement of 93 signals and the laying of 146 miles of cable.

The project, which has been delayed in total by around two years, is responsible for the weekend cancellations of all trains in Bolton since February.

However, Network Rail has confirmed that the work is set to finally be completed by Sunday, November 4, when travellers will again be able to use full railway services on weekends.