Chorley Tunnel Engineering Works between Preston and Bolton

Engineering between Preston and Bolton for six weeks, 19 July - 31 August 2014

*PROGRESS UPDATE 18 August 2014*

The latest report from Network Rail indicates that all work is progressing as planned with no delay. One half of the modifications in Chorley tunnel has been completed and work on the other half should be completed later this week.

All 16 of the Grade II listed 'Chorley Flying Arches' have now been reinstated.

The line between Preston and Chorley will be closed between Saturday 19 July and Sunday 31 August 2014 with limited services running between Chorley and Bolton.

This is the first of several major engineering work projects to enable the electrification of the line between Manchester and Preston (via Chorley) to proceed and will allow Network Rail engineers access to Chorley tunnel where significant work will take place.



How will these works affect the train service?

First TransPennine Express services:

During this period services between Manchester and Blackpool North / Barrow-in-Furness / Windermere will be forced to divert via alternative routes and will no longer call at Horwich Parkway, Chorley or Buckshaw Parkway.

Careful planning has been required to avoid impacting on those services already operating on these routes - as a result most services on the section between Bolton and Preston / Blackpool will operate to a revised timetable with many services towards Manchester departing EARLIER than normal.

Where it is has been possible a limited number of services will call at Leyland and / or Euxton Balshaw Lane.


Northern Rail services:

Monday to Friday - A reduced frequency train service will operate between Chorley and Manchester Victoria between 0659 and 1902 (Connections with services to Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport will be available at Bolton). Replacement buses will be provided between Chorley and Preston calling at Buckshaw Parkway and Leyland connecting with the train service at Chorley.

Prior to 0659 and after 1902 buses will replace trains between Preston and Bolton via intermediate stations.

Weekends - Buses will replace trains between Preston and Bolton via all intermediate stations.

For further details of Northern Rail services please click here.

  • What are the engineering works for?

    It's all part of the £600m investment in the North West's railway infrastructure, the line between Chorley and Euxton Junction will be closed for six weeks to allow Network Rail engineers access Chorley tunnel where work will take place to lower the track to provide sufficient clearance for the overhead power lines necessary for the operation of electric trains.

    In addition to the tunnel work, several road bridges in the Chorley area will be rebuilt and it is planned to reinstate the Grade II listed 'Chorley Flying Arches' which were removed in the summer of 2008.

    Once electrification of this route is complete (December 2016) quieter, greener, electric trains will be introduced allowing quicker journey times and also providing a significant increase in the number of seats available on many services.

  • Can I still get from Manchester / Bolton to Preston / Blackpool direct?

    Yes – but only by using First TransPennine Express train services.
    Northern Rail will not operate any direct services between Blackpool, Preston and Bolton / Manchester.

  • Where are the replacement buses leaving from?

    • Preston - At the Fishergate entrance to the station
    • Chorley - From the bus stops on the main road outside the front of the station
    • Bolton- From the station car park next to platform 4

    At all other stations buses will depart from outside the entrance to the station.

    Don't forget you will still need a valid train ticket to travel on the rail replacement buses. Ticket checks will be in operation.

  • Will there be someone to help me find and board the bus?

    Additional staff will be on hand at Preston, Chorley and Bolton to lend a hand if you need some guidance.

  • What are the alternatives for customers at Leyland, Chorley and Buckshaw Parkway for travelling to Manchester?

    Customers may consider using Northern’s Liverpool service from Leyland / Euxton Balshaw Lane to Wigan North Western and changing onto a First TransPennine Express service for stations in Manchester.
    Please note, parking is limited at Euxton Balshaw Lane station.
  • Can I get a pram on the bus?

    Yes, however, prams and buggies must be folded and placed in the luggage compartment on the bus / coach.
  • Can I get my bike on the replacement bus?

    We cannot carry bikes on replacement bus services unless they are of the fold‐down type.

  • Are there toilets on board the bus?

    Some vehicles used on the longer journeys will have toilets however, vehicles used on shorter trips such as Preston to Chorley may not be fitted with toilets.
  • Can customers take food or alcohol on board coaches?

    Afraid not. Alcohol or the consumption of alcohol is not permitted on any rail replacement vehicle.
    Customers with alcohol will need to store it in the luggage compartment on the bus / coach, not in the overhead racks.

  • Can the bus driver let me off at the bottom of my road since he passes there?

    Unfortunately not.
    For insurance purposes, and also for your safety, we are only allowed to drop off customers at the designated bus stops at the railway stations.

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