UK approves electrification of Wigan to Bolton railway line

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The British government has approved the electrification of the Wigan and Bolton railway line, with the aim of providing a greener and more reliable journey for commuters.

As part of this project, the track between Wigan North Western station and Lostock Junction near Bolton will be upgraded by $ 107.22 million (£ 78 million).

This work should be completed in 2024/2025.

After the electrification of nearly 20.9 km of infrastructure and the extension of the platforms, carbon-emitting diesel trains will be replaced by electric rolling stock.

UK Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “As we rebuild better and create a railway that really works for passengers, I am delighted to give the green light to this rail upgrade.

“This significant investment will provide a service around Greater Manchester that is better for passengers and the environment, ensuring that our railroad plays its part in achieving our ambitious net zero ambitions.”

As part of the upgrade, approximately 450 new overhead line equipment poles will be supplied, as well as the transformation of 17 bridges and level crossings.

The platforms at Hindley, Westhoughton and Ince stations will be extended to handle overcrowding during peak hours and to accommodate six-car trains in the future.

In addition, the project is expected to provide additional operational flexibility to rail operators.

Director of Network Rail North West, Phil James, said: ‘To help the region recover from the pandemic, we are turning a new leaf with the investment of $ 107.22 million (£ 78 million sterling) to electrify the railway between the Wigan and Lostock junction.

“This environment and passenger-centric program will be a game-changer for the Greater Manchester Railway, as more electric trains mean better air quality, less rail noise and more reliable and spacious journeys for train travelers. ”

Last month, the UK government introduced the Better Value Rail (BVR) toolkit to streamline delivery of infrastructure projects.


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