Closed Rail Line To Cause Disruption
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Lancashire commuters face serious disruptions following rail chiefs’ plans to close part of a major North West line.
Network Rail has announced that it is to electrify a section of the Manchester-Preston line.
The track connecting Chorley to Preston is set to be closed for a minimum of six-weeks in the summer of 2014.
The 101 metre long Chorley Tunnel will undergo major redevelopments which will see the track lowered and the tunnel re-structured in order to complete the electrifying process. Five other bridges in Chorley will be affected while the electrification work takes place. But the closure of the tunnel means a service will not be running from Chorley to Preston and Preston to Chorley. Buckshaw Parkway (Euxton Junction) and Leyland will also be affected as the service runs through the stations but a free replacement bus service is to be provided so commuters will still be able to travel. Commuters from Preston will still be able to reach Manchester, but the service will be re-routed through Wigan and Lostock before reaching Manchester Piccadilly.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “As part of the £400m North West Electrification scheme, we plan to electrify the railway from Preston (Euxton jct) to Manchester through Chorley and Bolton to allow electric train services to be introduced in December 2016.
“We are currently in active discussions, with Lancashire County Council highways team to plan this work with the aim to minimise the disruption to local businesses and residents.“The work which is due to start in May 2014."
“Once we finalise the programme with Lancashire County Council in the next few weeks, we will be actively engaging and briefing local stakeholders and residents on any proposed road or rail closures.
“We are also working closely with TransPeninne Express and Northern Rail to finalise rail service through Chorley, including a replacement bus service while the line between Chorley and Preston is closed, to accommodate the work to lower the track through Chorley tunnel in the summer of 2014.”