Upgrade part of preparations for wiring
Network Rail has begun work to upgrade Farnworth Tunnel, between Bolton and Manchester, in preparation for electrification of the route.
There are currently two single tunnel bores just east of Farnworth station, but these do not have adequate clearance for overhead wires. The work, which began on 2 May and is due to be completed by early October, will see the larger of the two bores filled in and a new double track tunnel bored through the hillside. Following the work, the remaining single track tunnel will be abandoned.
With only a single tunnel in use while the work takes place, an amended timetable is operating between Manchester and Bolton, with a reduced service frequency during the week and no trains at weekends. Most TransPennine Express services between Manchester and Preston will be diverted via Wigan and the Chat Moss line, with some peak hour workings retained in the peak direction only. Peak hour services on the route will be strengthened where possible.