Lancashire

Manchester-Preston rail works to cause disruption

train at Chorley station Image copyright JThomas/Geograph
Image caption Passengers will be able to use Chorley Station while its platforms are rebuilt

Rail journeys between Manchester and Preston will be disrupted when major works start at a Lancashire station.

Chorley station will be "upgraded" as the route is electrified in a £1bn scheme to improve journeys in northern England, Network Rail said.

From 18 June to 2 October, the line between Preston and Bolton will be closed every weekend with bus replacement services in operation.

Some weekday rail services after 21:00 BST will also be cancelled.

Weekend rail journeys between Manchester and Preston will be diverted via Wigan.

Both of Chorley's platforms will be rebuilt to make room for "faster, more frequent trains from December 2017", a Network Rail spokeswoman said.

She also warned there could be "noisy" work during weekends and at night.

"Significant engineering is required to move and lower the track through Chorley and there is no other option but to close the line at weekends while this is carried out."

'37% capacity rise'

It is expected that the electrification of the route from Preston to Blackpool will be complete by May 2018, she added.

Plans to electrify the line have been delayed previously including when Balfour Beatty pulled out last August.

Currently, only diesel trains run on the Manchester to Blackpool route but, a Northern Rail spokesman said, the introduction of electric trains would contribute to a 37% rise in passenger capacity across northern England by 2020.

An information event will be held at Chorley Town Hall between 1600 and 1900 BST on Tuesday.

Passengers are urged to check details with National Rail Enquiries before travelling.

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