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July 20, 2015

Network Rail to begin final bridge rebuild in Bolton under railway electrification project

UK rail infrastructure operator Network Rail (NR) has announced that work is due to start on the final bridge to be rebuilt in Bolton, as part of works to electrify the line between Manchester and Preston.

Network Rail final bridge Bolton

UK rail infrastructure operator Network Rail (NR) has announced that work is due to start on the final bridge to be rebuilt in Bolton, as part of works to electrify the line between Manchester and Preston.

More than £1bn is being invested by NR in the north of England to provide passengers with a better railway.

In order to electrify the railway line, the bridges have to be reconstructed to increase the clearance underneath to accommodate overhead lines which will power the trains.

Since the past 18 months, NR has rebuilt 15 road bridges and four footbridges, along with demolishing one disused bridge and reconstructing River Chor Aqueduct.

"I am sure that the modernisation of the Manchester to Preston line will have big future benefits for passengers."

In order to carry out these works Grimeford Lane in Blackrod will be close on 27 July and is due to reopen on 16 November.

To maintain pedestrian access, a temporary footbridge has been built in advance of the closure of the lane.

Network Rail project manager John Johnson said: "These bridge rebuilds are an essential part of the electrification of the railway which will provide passengers with a faster, more reliable and efficient railway.

"I apologise for the disruption caused to the surrounding road network but we have worked closely with the local authority to plan the diversions and will complete the work in the quickest and safest possible way."

The reconstruction of bridges is part of a wider work which saw the track lowered through Chorley Tunnel last year, and will see a new tunnel at Farnworth.

According to NR, each bridge requires significant work to replace the bridge deck, which can only be completed during 24/7 working over weekends when the railway is closed.

The railway between Manchester and Preston via Bolton is expected to be completely electrified and will be available for use by December 2016.

Bolton Council cabinet member for highways, transport and community services Councillor David Chadwick said: "This is the final piece of the jigsaw for bridge reconstructions by Network Rail. There has been a great deal of inconvenience to the travelling public and I am grateful to them for their patience and understanding during these difficult times.

"I am sure that the modernisation of the Manchester to Preston line will have big future benefits for passengers."

The railway electrification will provide faster and more frequent services, with more seats for passengers, and help support economic growth across the north west of England.


Image: The reconstruction of final bridge in Bolton is part of works to electrify the line between Manchester and Preston. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.

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