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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Railway reopens after Wigan to Bolton electrification bridge work

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Rail passengers have been thanked for their patience after a six-day closure of the line between Wigan and Bolton to rebuild a bridge as part of a major electrification project.

In preparation for the installation of high-voltage overhead electricity cables, alterations need to be made to 17 railway structures along the route, including the new bridge in Hindley.

Network Rail engineers spent last week demolishing a former road bridge which took Ladies Lane over the railway beside Hindley station.

They then used a large crane to lift pre-cast concrete sections into position to build a modern structure which will be suitable for electric lines to be installed underneath next year.

It’s part of a £78 million investment to upgrade a 6.5-mile stretch of railway to enable electric trains to serve the key North West towns in the future.

Train services between Wigan and Bolton resumed on Friday 30 June after six days of rail replacement bus services.

However, Hindley station itself remains closed for passengers until Friday 24 July with improvement work continuing there.

Stephen Townley, Network Rail senior programme manager, said: “We’d like to thank passengers and residents for their patience and support whilst our engineering teams have been working around the clock to demolish and rebuild this complex bridge in Hindley. We know this has been disruptive for people in the local area with increased traffic and noise and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“While the rail route has now reopened, trains still won’t call at Hindley station until Friday 24 July as station improvements are still ongoing. Meanwhile we’ll be continuing work on the new structure to reinstate various utilities services, install new lighting and lay road surfacing to restore the full carriageway over the summer so the new Ladies Lane bridge is ready for traffic and road users by the 1 September.”

The same diversionary route remains in place for road users while Network Rail’s work in Hindley continues.

When this is complete engineers will move on to the next structure which needs to be altered as part of the major electrification programme, which will be Green Lane footbridge at Ince.

Image credit: Network Rail

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