THE first tests of electrically-powered trains running through Bolton have been a success.

After years of problems with infrastructure and delays to electrification, Network Rail this week ran two days of tests on the line between Manchester and Preston.

The tests, performed by a Pendolino - normally used by Virgin Trains - aimed to check the voltage and power supply to the newly constructed electric network.

Senior Network Rail official Duncan Law said: "At the moment the tests that are going on are just checking the final integrity of the system and we should get authorisation from the Office of Rail and Road just before Christmas. That will see us move into 2019 testing for speeds of up to 100mph on this corridor. Those speeds will be realised by new trains providing better services and a better transport infrastructure."

He also said sorry to commuters, saying Network Rail "can't apologise enough" but promised electric trains would be in service "early in the New Year".