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Published on : Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Today (Monday 1 February) trains were able to run more quickly through the area after the orange army successfully completed track work. Follow up work due to take place this week will remove the final speed restriction meaning trains will be able to run through the tunnel at the original 75mph.
Nick Spall, route delivery director at Network Rail, said: “Farnworth Tunnel has been an extremely complex engineering scheme as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and I am really proud of the work our engineers have delivered. The new, bigger tunnel complete with new track marks the next step in our plans to electrify the line which will mean faster and more reliable trains for passengers.
“This work has been disruptive and I would like to personally thank passengers and local residents for their patience throughout the project.”Andrew Jones, Transport Minister said: “The work at Farnworth Tunnel is a big step forward in our plans to cut journey times and deliver better journeys for customers travelling between Manchester, Bolton and Preston by the end of next year. The completion of this stage of work marks significant progress in improving connections for these cities, which form part of the bedrock of the Northern Powerhouse.
We are determined to close the economic gap between north and south, and improving our railways and roads is helping the north of England unleash its full power. Farnworth is one important part of multi-billion pound investment in transport in the north, which this one nation government is delivering.”
Alex Hynes, managing director for Northern Rail, said: “Now the Farnworth Tunnel project is complete, we can start planning for a new and exciting phase of electrification in the north west. Our customers and staff have been fantastic throughout this scheme and we’d like to thank them for their support and patience.”
A spokeswoman for First TransPennine Express said: “It’s great to see these works completed that will allow speed restrictions lifted on our services. We know the project caused some service alterations and we would like to thank our customers and our staff for their patience. These improvement works are part of a significant investment programme in the rail network which will allow our trains to run faster and more frequently between the major northern cities and towns.”
Yasmin Quireshi, MP for Bolton south-east, said: “The completion of the tunnel is a big step towards getting the service Bolton deserves. As a regular commuter myself, I see first-hand the importance a fast and reliable train service has in all areas of our lives. I welcome the end to the extensive disruption we have all had to endure over the past months, but I want to commend the work of all the engineers working hard to get the best deal for Bolton.”