Network Rail is reminding passengers between Rochdale and Hebden Bridge of changes to services whilst an essential upgrade to Summit Tunnel takes place.
The 180-year-old Summit Tunnel on the Calder Valley Line is thought to be one of the world’s oldest railway tunnels and will close for nine days from Sunday 23rd October.
More than 3km of track will be replaced in the tunnel and requires a full closure of the line, which means rail replacement buses will be in operation between Rochdale and Hebden Bridge between 23rd and 31st October.
At weekends, buses will also be replacing trains between Manchester and Rochdale and between Hebden Bridge, Burnley Manchester Road and Accrington.
Karen Hornby, Network Rail’s North West head of performance and customer relationship, said: “We appreciate passengers’ patience while we carry out these vital improvements to Summit Tunnel as part of the Great North Rail Project. The work will mean fewer train delays on the Calder valley line and make tracks inside the Victorian-built structure fit for the 21st century.
“However, replacing track like this means we have no choice but to close the line for old sections to be ripped up and replaced with new. I’d urge anyone planning to travel over the nine-day railway closure to check National Rail Enquiries to they know exactly what to expect from their journeys.”
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern said: “The work being carried out by Network Rail is vital and will provide our customers with an even more reliable railway.”
“We are sorry for any disruption during the improvements and our customers can be assured that both Northern and Network Rail will do everything possible to minimise the impact of the work and deliver alternatives that keep people on the move.”
Nick Pearson, senior flood risk advisor with the Environment Agency, said: “Working in partnership with Network Rail as part of the proposed £56m Rochdale and Littleborough Flood Risk Management Scheme will make a huge difference to rail passengers, residents and the local economy.
“This project, one of the biggest flood alleviation schemes in the north of England, will play a crucial role in better protecting the community from the risk of flooding and we are pleased to see it progress.”
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