Trains resume at Manchester Victoria after successful Christmas rail upgrade

Published on : Thursday, January 2, 2014

network-rail2-300x100A major upgrade of the railway at Manchester Victoria over the Christmas and New Year holiday has been completed, with rail services resuming as planned on Thursday morning.

The closure allowed Network Rail engineers to install the equipment that will allow electric trains to start running from Manchester Victoria to Liverpool next December as part of the £400m North West Electrification Programme.

Network Rail engineers spent 10,000 man hours over the Christmas and New Year period, installing 74 foundations and some of the steel work for the overhead line equipment which will allow electric trains to operate. In the station, engineers installed 42 fixtures to hold the overhead wires to the roof of station.

At the east of the station, under Cheetham Hill road bridge, 400m of track was removed to allow the track to be lowered by up to 17 cm to create the headroom required for overhead lines. This required 1300 tonnes of spoil to be removed before the track was re-laid with almost 1000 tonnes of new ballast. Meanwhile, work continued on the £44m project to renovate the station and install the new roof which will be completed later this year.

To allow the project to be completed safely, there will be further planned closures to allow Network Rail engineers to complete the electrification work, with no rail services operating through Manchester Victoria on Sundays until the end of May. Customers are being advised to check travel details thoroughly when booking tickets and before they travel.

Martin Frobisher, area director for Network Rail, said: “Our engineers have sucessfully completed much of the work to allow electric trains to run from Manchester to Liverpool starting from December this year, providing passengers with quicker, cleaner and more frequent services. They did this despite some very difficult weather over the Christmas and New Year holiday.

“This project represents a significant investment in the railway in Manchester and, in conjunction with the Northern Hub, will see more trains and faster journeys, improving travel between major towns and cities across the north.

“In order to complete this on time and allow our engineers to complete the electrification of the railway through Manchester Victoria, we will need access to the railway on Sundays until the end of May. We thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this vital upgrade.”

Lee Wasnidge, area director for Northern Rail, said: “The rail network around Manchester has been a hive of activity over the festive period and work will continue in the New Year. With the electrification of routes into the city and further progress on the redevelopment of Manchester Victoria, 2014 will bring significant improvements for passengers.”

Full details of Sunday service changes are available in Northern Rail timetables:
A shuttle bus will operate between Manchester Victoria and Salford Crescent
Services from Chorley / Clitheroe / Wigan will divert to Manchester Oxford Road
A shuttle service will operate between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale until 9 February

Source:- Network Rail

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