- Work to reconstruct/strengthen railway bridges and upgrade track in central Manchester was completed by Network Rail this morning (16 August)
- Railway lines between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale and Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge have fully reopened following successful completion of the work with final finishing touches being made on Sunday 22 August, Sundays throughout September and the weekend of 2/3 October
- This forms 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 passengers in Greater Manchester move one step closer to faster, more frequent, more reliable trains after major railway upgrades were completed on time between Manchester Victoria, Rochdale and Stalybridge.
Work took place from Saturday 31 July until Sunday 15 August to completely reconstruct railway bridges on Dantzic Street and Queens Road and strengthen and waterproof Bromley Street and Oldham Road bridges.
Over 3000m of track was upgraded and track remodelled between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge. 17 new signals were also installed.
Further work takes place as planned on Sunday 22 August, Sundays throughout September and the weekend of 2 and 3 October, to make the final changes with less disruption to passengers. All TransPennine Express (TPE) services will again be diverted into Manchester Piccadilly, with TPE services between Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool being operated by rail replacement buses on Sundays. Buses will also replace Northern services between Stalybridge and Manchester Victoria calling at Ashton-under-Lyne.
This work is essential to enable more trains and faster trains to run in future. The newly renovated bridges now allow increased weight loading of more trains and the new and remodelled track will allow trains to run at faster speeds.
This milestone is a crucial part of the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade. This major railway upgrade programme will improve connectivity in the North of England by providing faster, more reliable services for passengers travelling between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.
Neil Holm, Transpennine Route Upgrade Director for Network Rail, said: “We’ve made major progress across Greater Manchester on this key part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade. Our teams have worked around the clock over the past 16 days to improve journeys for passengers.
“As well as bringing more reliable services, this complex upgrade will eventually allow more trains and faster trains to run on the busy route between Manchester and York.
“We carefully planned the work to keep passengers moving during the upgrade. I want to say a big thank you to passengers for their patience while the improvements took place.”
Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express added: “These works completed as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade are the first step to improving capacity and journey times across the Pennines. We’d like to thank everyone involved in the engineering works that have taken place across the last 16 days, helping to create a more reliant and resilient railway for our customers to travel on. We’d also like to thank our customers for their patience throughout the works.”
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The Transpennine Route Upgrade is a vital part of the future of rail in the North and it’s great to see this first phase completed – paving the way for further enhancement work on this crucial business and leisure corridor.
“As an industry we have worked closely to keep disruption to a minimum, and our customers on the move, and we are all grateful for the understanding shown by those who rely on our services to get them where they need to be.”