Railway users must endure six weeks of inconvenience

Chorley railway station
Chorley railway station

Train passengers must endure cancellations and replacement bus services this summer as part of the electrification of the railway.

Network Rail has announced the line between Chorley and the junction with the West Coast mainline at Euxton will be shut between Saturday, July 19, and Sunday, August 31.

It means the First TransPennine Express services between Manchester and Blackpool North, Barrow-in-Furness and Windermere will be diverted and will not stop at Chorley and Buckshaw Parkway.

Northern Rail will operate a reduced weekday daytime service between Chorley and Manchester Victoria, with replacement buses running from 7pm to 7am and at weekends.

There will be bus services between Chorley and Preston, and Chorley and Bolton, with some buses stopping at stations on the way.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We will be closing the railway in the Chorley area to install equipment to electrify the railway, including through the Chorley Tunnel, which will require significant changes to accommodate the overhead line equipment.

“A number of bridges will have to be rebuilt or modified and the work can’t be completed while trains are running.

“The closure has been carefully planned to keep it as short as possible and we are working closely with train operators regarding the amended services and disruption.”

The changes to train services will add to the impact on Chorley from the electrification work.

The bridge on Harpers Lane, in Chorley, closed on Monday, May 5 and a bridge on Railway Road, Adlington, shuts on Monday for five months.

Traders on Harpers Lane say it has affected their businesses.

Tony Evans, manager of Paradise Pets, said: “We have noticed a decline in sales. It’s not as busy and we have lost a few customers.

“I think it’s worse than we expected.”

Jonathan Cartwright, from J-Seas Finest Fish And Chip Shop, said: “It’s the possible trade in the daytime that has dried up. I’m not losing money, but I’m not making any.

“The quicker they open the road, the quicker we will get back to normal.”

The Network Rail spokesman said: “Signs have been installed locally advising that businesses are open as usual and additional on-street parking has been provided.

“We apologise for the disruption caused while the work is being carried out.”