16-day closure of Manchester railway line scheduled for summer

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Network Rail has announced that modernization work will take place this summer on the Transpennine route from Greater Manchester to Yorkshire.

The works are scheduled between July 31 and August 16, 2021.

To allow the work to proceed, a 16-day closure of the railway line east of Manchester Victoria to Stalybridge and Rochdale will take place.

As part of the Trans-Pennine Highway (TRU) upgrade program, the work will form part of larger plans to upgrade the entire 76-mile route from York to Manchester via Leeds and Huddersfield.

During the closure of the railway line, Network Rail teams will work day and night to modernize the railway bridges and renew the sections of track.

During the closure, no trains will run between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge to Manchester Victoria.

Passengers will either need to take alternative trains or use replacement buses.

Trains between Manchester and Leeds will still run but will arrive and depart from Manchester Picadilly instead of Manchester Victoria.

Full details of changes to train schedules, routes and replacement buses will be communicated closer to the time.

Phil James, Network Rail’s Northwest Route Manager, said: “The Transpennine Highway upgrade is a transformative, long-term project that supports economic growth in the North at a critical time and delivers real benefits. to passengers and communities. “

“A project of this size and scope means there will be times when we have to close the tracks – and the 16-day closure this summer in Greater Manchester signifies one of those times. However, working with rail operators, we are committed to keeping passengers on a train as often as possible, moving on time and in comfort. We are confident that the long-term legacy of the project will be worth the shorter-term drawbacks of the disruption. “

Rob Warnes, Director of Strategic Development at Northern, said: “This is important work that absolutely needs to be done. Improved track and infrastructure will result in more reliable trips and ultimately more capacity and faster trips. “

“We recognize, however, that closing the line will mean customers will have a different travel experience and we want to inform as much as possible of the changes. During the 16-day shutdown, journey times will be increased and buses will replace trains between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale, affecting wider journeys between Bradford and Manchester. “

“We are working on the full details of what these changes will mean and will provide more information to customers in the coming months.”

Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson, MP said: “The Transpennine upgrade is at the heart of our commitment to improve rail journeys for passengers across the North, focused on significantly improving reliability and punctuality. . As we rebuild better from Covid-19, increasing capacity and travel times, we will work with local partners to minimize disruption throughout these vital upgrades. “

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “This rail line provides a vital link across the North, connecting towns and ports and supporting the regional and national economy. Leaders across the North have for many years called for improved connectivity through high-speed rail, the Northern Powerhouse Rail, and improved Transpennine connections. We welcome this work which should only be seen as the start of a transformational investment in rail in the North, supporting the government’s upgrade agenda and ensuring that we build back better after the pandemic. We will work closely with Network Rail and rail and freight operators to ensure, as this vital work progresses, that passengers, businesses and communities are properly cared for and disruption. be minimized to the extent possible. “

Kathryn O’Brien, Director of Customer Experience for TransPennine Express, said: “This work will affect some of our customers traveling through Manchester and we would like to assure them that we have plans that will keep their disruption to an absolute minimum. “

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