Work to upgrade the line between Clitheroe and Manchester began at the weekend and passengers are being urged to check before they travel and plan their journeys.

Network Rail will be delivering improvements on the Clitheroe to Manchester line which will mean no train services between Blackburn and Bolton from 17 July until 24 August 2015.

Funded by the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, the improvements will see an additional track installed for one mile either side of Darwen station. This will provide capacity for a more reliable and frequent service throughout the day between Manchester and Blackburn and will enable a half hourly daytime service in the future.
Terry Strickland, Network Rail’s area director, said: “This essential upgrade will provide a better, more reliable railway for passengers travelling between Manchester and Clitheroe for many decades to come. We have worked closely with Northern Rail so passengers are still able to get to their destinations during this essential work which can only be done when trains are not running. I urge passengers to check before they travel for the latest information and thank them in advance for their cooperation and patience.”
Alex Hynes, managing director for Northern Rail, said, “Investment in infrastructure will improve customer journeys on this line of route by delivering better performance and a more reliable railway. Although there will be some disruption, we hope that this work will create better travel opportunities in the long term and help us in delivering a railway the North can be proud of.”
Councillor Phil Riley, executive member for growth and prosperity at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said “We have worked very closely with Northern Rail and Network Rail to ensure rail users and residents affected by this investment have been made aware of the programme of works and the revised train timetable and bus replacement service that will be in operation during the next few weeks.
“Improving the frequency of service along this line is an important part of our agenda to help the borough’s growth as it will enable more people to access jobs, training and services in our borough and across greater Manchester.”

Customers travelling from Clitheroe can use an amended train service between Clitheroe and Blackburn, supplemented by buses. The buses will operate through to stations between Darwen and Bolton, so passengers don’t need to change.
Customers travelling from Blackburn are able to use train services to Manchester through Burnley Manchester Road via the recently reopened Todmorden Curve.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 Monday – Friday with a bus on standby throughout the weekend.

Train services will continue to operate between Bolton and Manchester, to the timetable currently in place during the work at Farnworth.


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