Commuters hoping to use Manchester Airport station in the New Year are being warned about temporary closures.
Work to complete the new fourth platform at the station will resume in January as Network Rail begins to install the new track and signalling. The essential upgrade – which will allow extra services to call at the airport and provide passengers with better access from across the north of England - is part of a £1bn investment.
The majority of the work to build the fourth platform was carried out during construction of the Metrolink platform, ensuring that disruption was kept to a minimum.
To complete the work – which also includes finishing platform improvements with new CCTV and information screens – only two platforms will be in use between January 11 and 17, and the station will then be closed to all trains until February 9.
Ian Joslin, area director for Network Rail, said: “Much of the work to upgrade Manchester Airport station has been completed while trains continue to run but there is no other alternative but to close the station while we install the new track and complete the new fourth platform.
“While there is never a good time to close the railway we have worked closely with the airport, Metrolink and train operators to complete this work at a time which will impact the fewest numbers of passengers and I apologise for any short-term inconvenience while we deliver these long-term benefits.”
Wayne Poole, director of passenger services for Manchester Airport, said: “We’ll be working with the variety of partners that are involved in the fourth platform works to minimise disruption during the station closures.
“The station is a vital entry point for passengers and staff who are looking to access Manchester Airport but the addition of the fourth platform is significant and will provide one of the best connected rail stations in the north of England. We continue to work with transport providers to look at ways to further enhance access to the airport.”
Speaking on behalf or First Trans-Pennine Express, Northern Rail and Arriva Trains Wales, a spokesman said: “The investment in and development of Manchester Airport rail station presents a real opportunity for the future of rail in the north.
“The upcoming improvement works are an essential element of the £1bn investment that is taking place throughout the north of England.”