Residents upset by plans to carry out ‘noisy’ railworks improvements during Christmas

WORKS: The railway line at Euxton near Chorley
WORKS: The railway line at Euxton near Chorley

There will be no silent night for residents near the railway this Christmas.

For they’ve been dealt a hammer blow by rail bosses who have revealed plans to carry out ‘noisy’ improvement work in the Euxton and Buckshaw Village areas over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Network Rail has warned residents by letter of its plans for the piling work.

The rail company says it tries to install foundations in the ground using a vibration piling technique.

However in some areas, due to varying ground conditions, this method is not appropriate and ‘a noisier’ technique which involves hammering the pile into the ground has to be carried out which may disturb folk enjoying the festive holiday.

It added that work will not be outside individual properties for the full duration of the scheduled dates.

Lancashire county councillor Mark Perks, who represents the area, said he had already received complaints from residents.

County councillor Perks, who is also a borough councillor for the Astley and Buckshaw ward on Chorley Council, posted details of the plans on Twitter.

“One resident on the Milestone Meadow estate said he’s disgusted by it because it’s going to disturb a very special time of year,” said councillor Perks.

“He said it’s completely inconsiderate to just get a letter now, and that it’s just not on.”

The work will take place Christmas Eve, midnight to 9am; Christmas Day, midnight to 9am; and Boxing Day, midnight to 5am.

Councillor Perks, who said he also sympathised with Network Rail as they needed to get the work done, added: “I’ve got some sympathy because a lot of people are working and have the festive period off.

“This drilling has disturbed people before when they’ve done track-side work.

“If it’s on three nights it’s quite considerable.

“It’s not just neighbours, because at that time of night when there’s little environmental noise, sound will travel.

“I’m going to ask if they’ll look at it again.”

Network Rail said the foundations were being installed for the overhead line equipment that will provide power to greener, cleaner and quieter electric trains from December 2017.

On average they need to be dug at 40-50m intervals with each one taking about 40 minutes to complete.

For safety reasons, the work needs to be completed when trains are not running.

Residents were also told in the letter: “Because the work affects two railway lines, we need closures on both and as no trains run on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, there is an extended window to work where the Bolton line meets the West Coast Mainline at Euxton Junction.

“The extra time available over the Christmas period allows us to install more foundations, which will mean we can complete the majority of piling in this area over three nights, rather than a number of weeks.”

There is a 24 hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41 for questions.