The end of July will see railway engineers starting on major improvements on both track and railway bridges on the Transpennine Route between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge and Manchester Victoria and Rochdale.
The Transpennine route covers the North of England between York and Manchester, via Leeds and Huddersfield.
The railway is 76 miles long and serves 23 stations, with 285 bridges and viaducts, 6 miles of tunnels and 29 level crossings.
The upgrade which is part of the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade will transform connectivity for the North of England giving faster, smoother and more reliable services for passengers travelling from York, Leeds and Manchester.
The project will start on Saturday the 31st of July until Sunday the 15th of August 2021 with more than 3000m of track being upgraded along with important work being carried out on six bridges throughout Central Manchester.
The work means that changes to services between Yorkshire and Manchester will take place and Network Rail, Northern and Transpennine Express have put a plan in place to keep passengers on the move as much as possible, however, some parts of journeys may need to be completed using a rail replacement bus service especially between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria.
The buses being used will be state of the art to offer travel in comfort for passengers during the improvements.
Passengers planning to travel during this time are advised to check nationalrail.co.uk
Changes to services will be in place from Saturday the 31st of July and Sunday the 15th of August 2021:
Leeds to Manchester Victoria via Todmorden and Rochdale
Trains will start and terminate at Moston station where express buses will run between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria and also Manchester Victoria and Moston. There will be no calling buses between Rochdale and Moston.
Ashton-under-Lyne to Manchester
Trains will not be running but Metrolink services will be available both to and from Manchester Piccadilly on Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th of August 2021 only. Metrolink services will not be running on the Ashton line due to engineering work and replacements bus services will be running for passengers.
Liverpool Lime Street to Newcastle
Trains from Liverpool Lime Street will be diverted and running to and from Manchester Airport via Manchester Piccadilly. Newcastle services will start and terminate at Manchester Piccadilly for onward connections.
Manchester to Leeds, York, Hull or Redcar
Trains will be diverted to or from Manchester Piccadilly only.
Stalybridge to Manchester via Guide Bridge
Trains running between Leeds and Manchester Piccadilly via Huddersfield will be diverted via Stalybridge and Guide Bridge. Buses will be running between Stalybridge, Ashton-under-Lyne and Guide Bridge.
The huge project also means that there will be some road closures and diversions in place in Central Manchester during bridge reconstruction work:
- Dantzic Street will be closed from Thursday the 15th of July to Wednesday the 25th of August.
- Gould Street will be closed from Thursday the 15th of July to Wednesday the 25th of August.
- Queens Road will be closed from Saturday the 17th of July to Monday the 16th of August.
- Irk Street will be closed from Thursday the 15th of July to Wednesday the 25th of August.
- Aspin Lane will be closed from Thursday the 15th of July to Wednesday the 25th of August.
- Bromley Street will be closed from Thursday the 8th of July to Monday the 30th of August.
The Metrolink network will also be receiving essential maintenance during this time which will minimise overall disruption for passengers.
- Between Saturday the 31st of July and Monday the 9th of August no services will run through Victoria.
- Between Wednesday the 14th and Friday the 16th of August no services will run through Victoria.
- Between Wednesday the 21st and Friday the 23rd of August no services will run through Victoria.
- Between Monday the 19th of July and Sunday the 1st of August the Metrolink Eccles line will be closed
- Between Saturday the 31st of July and Friday the 6th of August there will be additional changes to some services while work is underway close to Piccadilly Gardens
Bus replacements services will be operating and extra staff will be available across the network to assist customers.
Neil Holm, Transpennine Route Upgrade Director for Network Rail, said: “Our improvement work in Greater Manchester, starting next month, is a key part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU).
“During this complex upgrade we’ll be demolishing ageing railway bridges to install new ones and upgrading track. This work is crucial to enable us to run more trains and faster trains in future as part of the wider TRU programme. Though we can’t keep these railway lines open through Manchester Victoria while we do this, we’ve created diversionary routes so passengers can still get in and out of Manchester by train as much as possible.
“Where buses need to replace to trains, we’ve worked with our industry colleagues to ensure they’re the best quality throughout.”
Tricia Williams, Northern’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “It is welcome news that the railway continues to be invested in and the infrastructure improved upon.
“To complete these initial works there will be some planned changes to our services and our message to customers is very simple – please plan ahead and check your journey before travelling.
“To minimise disruption we will be running state-of-the-art replacement buses, offering clear customer information, including via digital and social channels, and will have more colleagues at stations to provide assistance both before and during the engineering works.”
Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express, commented: “We’re delighted to see continued investment in the North of England’s railway as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade. And with these works this summer, we will see a better, more reliable railway for our customers.
“To complete these engineering works, some of our services will be diverted and customers may have to change trains in Manchester, so we would advise those travelling to check before they travel. To help with those affected, there will be more railway colleagues at stations to help people get to where they need to be.”
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