Wigan railway tunnel work to cause disruption
Rail passengers are being warned of disruption to services while work is carried out on an historic tunnel.
More than £1m is being invested in Up Holland tunnel, between Up Holland and Orrell stations, as part of the Great North Rail Project to improve journeys for passengers in the North of England.
Network Rail is replacing the track and the track bed through the 172-year-old Up Holland tunnel to ensure it continues to provide safe and reliable journeys for years to come.
The length and location of the tunnel means that in order to carry out the work safely, the line will be closed to trains over three weekends in March 2020.
A bus replacement service will be in operation for passengers between Kirkby and Wigan Wallgate over three consecutive Saturdays: Saturday March 14, Saturday March 21, and Saturday March 28.
Rosie Cooper, MP for West Lancashire, said: “Although unfortunately there will be some disruption to passengers for three Saturdays, I welcome the £1m investment by Network Rail ensuring the track through Upholland Tunnel remains safe and reliable for trains for decades to come.
“There will be replacement bus services for passengers while these works are ongoing.
“I would recommend that passengers wishing to travel on the Kirkby branch line in late March to check nationalrail.co.uk before they travel.”
Howerd Kernahan, project manager at Network Rail, said: “We know there’s never a good time to close the railway and we apologise for the disruption this work will mean for passengers in West Lancashire.
“This vital work will mean fewer delays on the line from Wigan to Kirkby and make this Victorian-built structure fit for a 21st-century railway.
“We urge people to check before they travel these three Saturdays while this upgrade takes place as part of the Great North Rail Project.”