Wigan railway now re-open after major electrification project

A Wigan railway has reopened after a six-day closure allowing for the rebuild of a bridge as part of a major project.
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In preparation for the installation of high-voltage overhead electricity cables, alterations need to be made to a total of 17 railway structures, including the new bridge at Hindley.

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

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A large crane was then used to lifew pre-cast concrete sections into position before building a modern strucutre suitable for electric lines to be installed underneath next year.

Demolition of of Ladies Lane bridge at HindleyDemolition of of Ladies Lane bridge at Hindley
Demolition of of Ladies Lane bridge at Hindley

This work is part of a £78m 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 today (Friday June 30) after six days of rail replacement bus services.

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

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Work taking place at Ladie Lane bridgeWork taking place at Ladie Lane bridge
Work taking place at Ladie Lane bridge
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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 September 1.”

When the work is complete, engineers will move onto the next structure requiring alteration as part of the major electrification programme, which will be Green Lane footbridge at Ince,

Network Rail will write to residents and release more detail on that work in due course ahead of the project starting later this summer.

For more information on railway electrification visit the network rail website.