Train services between Bolton and Blackburn have returned following the completion of a £14million package of improvement work on the Clitheroe to Manchester route.
The work, which took place over five weeks, was funded by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and has seen additional track built either side of Darwen Station. This will provide extra capacity and enable a half hourly daytime service between Manchester and Blackburn in the future.
Nick Spall, route delivery director for Network Rail, said: “I would like to thank passengers and our lineside neighbours for their patience during the work, which will bring real long term benefits for all concerned.”
Alex Hynes, managing director for Northern Rail, said: “Improvements like this help us deliver better performance and provide a more reliable railway for our customers. The benefits of the scheme will allow more services to run between Manchester and Blackburn in the future.”
Brian Bailey, director of growth and prosperity, at Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council, said: “As part of our wider plan for prosperity we have worked long and hard with our supporters, partners and funders, notably the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, to deliver this strategic link. We are delighted that we now have a track capable of supporting an increased service frequency throughout the day between Blackburn and Darwen and Manchester.”
Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “Improving rail links within Lancashire and with the surrounding region is a vital element in boosting economic growth and creating jobs for the people of Lancashire, as part of broader investment in our transport infrastructure. This work will provide greater capacity on this key railway line and should bring benefits for individuals and businesses across East Lancashire.”