CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Manchester To Preston Upgrade

The Great North Rail Project – Network Rail are continuing to work on the electrification upgrade between Manchester & Preston.

This week they have continued to install foundations and steel stanchions between Salford and Euxton.

Successfully overcome structural problems at Chorley Arches.

And connected overhead wires between Euxton Junction and the West Coast Main line.

Following the work over Christmas period and New Year, Network Rail are pleased to report that all the track, signalling and drainage work for this upgrade is on time. This will help to deliver faster, greener and more reliable electric train services for customers in future. However, at a small number of sites there are some foundations for the steel stanchions that still need to be installed.

Approximately 1,700 foundations are in place at Preston, Chorley, Horwich and Bolton, with 200 still to install. On average, for every 10 foundations we fit, three piles are unsuccessful due to poor ground conditions (running sand, uncharted old mine workings or hard rock). This is a real challenge for the GNRP. The weekend railway closures from 6 January until 11 February will help progress, particularly south of Bolton and into Salford. Last weekend, they overcame structural problems at Chorley Arches. When drilling into the wall to fit the overhead line equipment, the structure showed some weakness. It’s now fixed and the equipment is in place, meaning this listed structure can continue to support passenger journeys for decades to come.Over Christmas, Euxton Junction at Chorley was made electric-train-ready after engineers successfully connected the wires to the power supply.