Train commuters are being urged to check their journeys ahead of rail works in Lancashire starting next week.
With under a week to go before major improvement works are due to start at Chorley, passengers travelling between Preston and Bolton are being urged to check before they travel on evenings and weekends.
The railway through Chorley is set to be electrified as part of a Network Rail plan to provide passengers with better, more reliable journeys.
This is part of a billion pound project which will see faster, more frequent trains through the North of England from December 2017.
The track near Chorley station will be lowered for new overhead line equipment which will power electric trains between Manchester and Preston via Bolton from the end of 2017.
Both of Chorley’s platforms will be rebuilt and the roofs over two subways inside and next to the station will be replaced to support the increased weight from an increase in train services.
A temporary platform will be in operation for passengers travelling north towards Preston from Saturday, June 18, while platform 1 is rebuilt and extended.
Platform 2, which serves trains towards Manchester, is being rebuilt in sections and will remain open to passengers throughout the project.
To deliver the project, the line between Preston and Bolton will be closed every weekend from Saturday, June 18, to Sunday, October 2, while the upgrades take place.
This will mean changes to weekend and some mid-week evening train services in the area while the work is completed.
Noel Connolly, Network Rail’s head of programme management, said: “This is essential work and I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their understanding.
“To deliver improvements to the railway, significant engineering work is required to move and lower the track through Chorley and there is no other option but to close the railway line at weekends while this work is carried out.
“The upgrade and wider investment will result in a better, faster, more reliable railway that will serve passengers for many decades to come and help boost the economy across the north of England.
“Some of the work involved will have to take place overnight and, while everything will be done to minimise disruption to local residents, there will be some noise as a result.”
Alex Hynes, Managing Director for Northern, the train operator, said: “Many of our customers in this region are looking forward to the benefits electric trains will bring to their journeys with us; more seats, faster journeys and better trains.
“This essential work at Chorley will ensure electric trains can operate between Manchester and Preston via Bolton from the end of 2017 – an exciting prospect for many of our customers.
“We’d like to remind them to check before they travel and speak to our colleagues at Chorley for the latest up-to-date information on the project.”
Drop-in sessions, leaflets, posters and websites have been mmaid available to raise awareness amongst passengers about what work is taking place and what alternative travel options are available.
For information about the work – and changes to train services – can be found on the Network Rail website at www.networkrail.co.uk/chorley.