Northern & TPE train passengers face weekends of disruption between Manchester and Stalybridge as work starts

Sections of the route will need to be closed and there will be rail replacement bus services running at weekends between February and May.

Train passengers will face disruption at weekends as a major project to upgrade a rail route in Greater Manchester continues.

Work is being done between Manchester and Stalybridge as part of the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade.

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Sections of the railway will need to be closed which means weekend travellers will be on rail replacement bus services and have to negotiate diversions at weekends between February and May.

Network Rail says the upgraded route will lead to faster and better connections between Manchester and a number of towns and cities in Yorkshire.

Engineering work is continuing between Manchester and Stalybridge

What is the engineering work being carried out?

The railway route between Manchester and Stalybridge is being given a major upgrade as part of a huge trans-Pennine engineering project.

Network Rail will install new trackside columns, which will eventually carry train-powering electric wires, renew one mile of track and upgrade the signalling equipment over the next few months.

Two bridges in Ashton-under-Lyne, on Southampton Street and Granville Street, will also be raised in height.

This will eventually allow electric wires to pass beneath them, so greener electric-powered trains can operate along the route in the future.

The Transpennine Route Upgrade will improve the public transport connections between York and Manchester via Huddersfield and Leeds, with Network Rail promising faster and more frequent trains once the work has been done.

What does this work mean for passengers?

The upgrading work does mean that passengers will face some disruption at weekends for a few months.

Sections of the railway will need to be closed to carry out the work safely. Rail replacement buses and diversions will be in place to keep passengers moving, Network Rail said.

Engineers carrying out the major upgrades to the railway lines between Manchester and Stalybridge

This will take place throughout weekends in February, March, April and May, with more work planned for later in the year.

Passengers have been advised to plan ahead for their journeys, either by using the National Rail Enquiries website or checking the timetables with their train operator.

TransPennine Express has already said information is available for people whose journeys might be affected.

What has been said about the work?

Hannah Lomas, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail, said: “These major upgrades will bring us another step closer to delivering a fully electrified, more modern railway for the future.

“This work is part of the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade which will bring passengers more frequent, faster, greener trains.

“We’ve worked closely with our train operating colleagues to make sure passengers can still travel to wherever they’re headed, and I’d advise anyone wishing to travel to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journey.”

Chris Nutton, major projects director for TransPennine Express,said: “As work continues on the Transpennine Route Upgrade throughout weekends in February, March, April and May, there will be a number of service alterations for TransPennine Express services.

“Passengers are advised to allow for additional time to travel and to check carefully for the latest travel advice before they travel. Updates will also be available on our social media channels.

“In addition, extra support will be available for passengers from customer delivery managers who will be on hand to assist passengers with their journeys.”

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “We are sorry for any disruption during the improvements and our customers can be assured that both Northern and Network Rail will do everything possible to minimise the impact of the work and deliver alternatives that keep people on the move.

“I would like to thank our customers in advance for their patience while his vital work is carried out.”