5 minute read – Major bridge reconstruction work starts in Manchester – passengers reminded to check journeys

  • Work to reconstruct and strengthen railway bridges in central Manchester has started and will continue until Sunday 15 August
  • Passengers travelling through Manchester Victoria are being urged to check their journeys at nationalrail.co.uk
  • This work is part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) which will bring faster, more reliable services to passengers travelling between Manchester and York, via Huddersfield and Leeds

Railway engineers have started major upgrade work to completely reconstruct railway bridges on Dantzic Street and Queens Road and strengthen and waterproof Bromley Street and Oldham Road bridges in Manchester.

During the 16-day upgrade programme (31 July – 15 August) there are changes to services between Yorkshire and Manchester. Network Rail, Northern and Transpennine Express have built a plan to keep passengers moving on trains across the Pennines as much as possible.

Some journeys may need to be completed partly by bus, primarily between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria. The latest, state-of-the-art buses will be available to passengers so they can travel in comfort throughout.

Passengers looking to travel over this period are being urged to check nationalrail.co.uk.

Timelapse footage showing steel beams being lifted into place, with the help of a 650-tonne crane at Dantzic Street, has been released by Network Rail. Over 3000m of track is also being upgraded to bring smoother, more reliable journeys.

This work forms part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU), a multi-billion pound, transformative, long-term railway infrastructure programme between York, Leeds and Manchester which will improve connectivity in the North.

Neil Holm, Transpennine Route Upgrade Director for Network Rail, said: “Our improvement work in Greater Manchester is a key part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU), which will enable more trains and faster trains to run between Manchester and York in future.

“This major upgrade includes demolishing ageing railway bridges to install new ones, upgrading track and installing new signals. Though we can’t keep these railway lines open through Manchester Victoria while we do this, we’ve created diversionary routes so passengers can still get in and out of Manchester by train as much as possible.

“Thank you to passengers travelling this summer for your understanding while we deliver these much-needed improvements.”

Tricia Williams, Northern’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “It is welcome news that the railway continues to be invested in and the infrastructure improved upon.

“To complete these initial works there will be some planned changes to our services and our message to customers is very simple – please plan ahead and check your journey before travelling.

“To minimise disruption we will be running state-of-the-art replacement buses, offering clear customer information, including via digital and social channels, and will have more colleagues at stations to provide assistance both before and during the engineering works.”

Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express commented: “We’re delighted to see continued investment in the North of England’s railway as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade. And with these works this summer, we will see a better, more reliable railway for our customers.

“To complete these engineering works, some of our services will be diverted and customers may have to change trains in Manchester, so we would advise those travelling to check before they travel. To help with those affected, there will be more railway colleagues at stations to help people get to where they need to be.”

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