Chorley tunnel project completed

Chorley flying arches refurbished

The railway between Chorley and Leyland reopened on 1 September after a six-week closure to lower the track through the 113m long Chorley tunnel so that it can accommodate overhead line equipment. Electric trains are planned to operate between Manchester and Preston via this route from December 2016.

As well as upgrading the tunnel, the 16 historic Chorley flying arches – Grade II listed structures on the approach to the tunnel which are the only remaining examples on the British rail network – were refurbished following co-operation and consultation with English Heritage.

Three bridges were also rebuilt, at Harpers Lane (Chorley), Railway Road (Adlington) and Lockstock Lane (Bolton) as well as the River Chor aqueduct. Two bridges at Station Road (Blackrod) and Chorley Road (Adlington) will be modified in preparation for reconstruction in 2015.

Ian Joslin, area director for Network Rail, said: ‘More than £1bn of investment is being made to provide a better railway and boost the economy across the north of England.

‘Electrification forms a significant part of this and the completed work though Chorley means the line is now ready to install the equipment needed to run electric trains.

‘It was a significant engineering challenge to lower the track and as well as rebuilding bridges we have also returned the historic Chorley flying arches to their former glory. I’d like to thank everyone whose journeys were affected for their patience while we completed the work.’

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