Improvements to Rochdale station have taken place ahead of major railway upgrades in central Manchester this summer.
A £100,000 Great North Rail Project investment has seen Network Rail strengthen the station subway’s steel and concrete ceiling which holds the track and platforms above.
The underpass below has also been repainted to welcome passengers travelling between York, Leeds and Manchester.
In the coming weeks £30,000 accessible ticket barriers will be installed for wheelchair users, families with prams or people with heavy luggage.
This is ahead of closures between Stalybridge and Manchester Victoria, and Rochdale and Manchester Victoria, from 31 July to 15 August, as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) when railway bridges will be replaced and track upgraded.
Passengers are being urged to plan their journeys in advance at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Karen Hornby, head of customer relations and performance for the North West at Network Rail, said: “Our £130,000 subway makeover and ticket barrier improvements are part of the Greater Manchester stations’ accessibility plan to provide better and safer travel for passengers using Rochdale station.
“Further improvements on the Calder Valley line are planned as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) with a major milestone taking place later this summer to upgrade track and railway bridges in central Manchester. Passengers looking to travel between 31 July and 15 August are being urged to plan ahead.”
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “The completed work looks fantastic and is a great example of the rail industry working together to improve the regions railways.
“Thank you to our customers for their continued patience. We are sorry for any disruption during the improvements and our customers can be assured that both Northern and Network Rail will do everything possible to minimise the impact of the work and deliver alternatives that keep people on the move.”
Councillor Mark Aldred, chair of the Greater Manchester Transport Committee, said: “The Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) is a really exciting project that will transform the customer experience for train users across Greater Manchester and throughout the north of England.
“From better and more reliable journeys to upgraded stations; whether you catch the train all the time or every now and again, there is a lot to look forward to.
“We know accessibility is a significant barrier at many of our local stations, so we particularly welcome the investment being made at Rochdale and hope it helps open up public transport – especially local rail services – for even more people to enjoy.”
Improvements are planned Saturday 31 July – Sunday 15 August as part of the TRU.
TRU is a multi-billion-pound programme of railway upgrades that will radically improve connectivity in the North of England – providing faster, more reliable services for passengers travelling between York, Leeds and Manchester.
For more information on the Transpennine Route Upgrade visit: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/railway-upgrade-plan/key-projects/transpennine-route-upgrade/