£78m Railway Upgrade Works Underway in Wigan and Southport


Railway engineers are working around the clock to complete major improvements across the Wigan and Southport areas, including level crossing renewals, electrification work and signalling upgrades. 

The work is part of Network Rail’s Wigan to Bolton electrification scheme, which is set to improve travel across the North West by allowing greener, cleaner and quieter electric trains to run on the line. 

Enabling work for the project involves rebuilding a bridge, upgrading railway drainage systems and preparing for the installation of new signals which will allow engineers to move forward with the £78m project, ensuring the track is ready for Northern’s longer, electric trains when they are introduced. 

Other improvements across the region will see engineers renew three level crossings (Pool Hey, Wyke Cop, Chapel Lane), enhance Burscough Signal Box and upgrade a number of signals across Parbold, increasing the reliability of train services passing through the area while making it safer for local communities. 

The improvement work means changes to train services between Wigan North Western, Ince, Hindley, Westhoughton, Lostock and Bolton:

A continuous closure until Sunday 18 February
Saturdays and Sundays in February
Sundays in March.

Phil James, North West route director for Network Rail, said: “We understand there is no ideal time to close the railway and want to thank passengers for bearing with us while we compete these major upgrades.

"The work is a vital part of our rail improvement plan across the North West which will not only help to improve the reliability of train services, but also take us one step closer to a greener, faster railway. 

"I’d encourage anyone travelling to plan their journey ahead of time via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator."
Network Rail has worked closely with train operators to keep customers on the move via rail replacement buses and passengers are urged to plan their journeys at www.nationalrail.co.uk.

Notes to Editors
The Wigan to Bolton Electrification Scheme is a £78m programme of investments which involves installing overhead line equipment, carrying 25,000 volts of electricity over the railway, and improving signalling between Wigan North Western station and Lostock Junction in Bolton. 

This work will ensure the track is ready for Northern’s longer, electric trains when they are introduced along the route.