Passengers are being warned to check before they travel as a rail line is being upgraded. 

The line between Bolton and Wigan is being electrified to allow greener, cleaner and quieter electric trains to run on the line. 

Enabling work for the project involves rebuilding a bridge, upgrading railway drainage systems and preparing for the installation of new signals. 

That will then allow engineers to move forward with the £78m project, ensuring the track is ready for Northern’s longer, electric trains when they are introduced. 

The improvement work means changes to train services between Wigan North Western, Ince, Hindley, Westhoughton, Lostock and Bolton

Rail replacement buses are set to run for trains between Manchester Victoria/Manchester Piccadilly and Wigan Wallgate via Atherton and also via Bolton on February 18, 24 and 25, as well as on March 3, 10, 17 and 24. 

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Buses will also replace trains between Manchester Piccadilly and Wigan Wallgate via Bolton from 12-16 February. On these dates, trains will continue to run via Atherton. 

Trains will also be replaced between Manchester Victoria and Wigan Wallgate via Atherton on 17 February. On this day, trains will continue to run via Bolton.

Phil James, North West route director for Network Rail, said: “We understand there is no ideal time to close the railway and want to thank passengers for bearing with us while we compete these major upgrades.

"The work is a vital part of our rail improvement plan across the North West which will not only help to improve the reliability of train services, but also take us one step closer to a greener, faster railway. 

"I’d encourage anyone travelling to plan their journey ahead of time via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator." 

Other improvements across the region will see engineers renew three level crossings (Pool Hey, Wyke Cop, Chapel Lane), enhance Burscough Signal Box and upgrade a number of signals across Parbold, increasing the reliability of train services passing through the area while making it safer for local communities.