Preston, Blackpool and Wigan trains to and from Manchester to be disrupted for four hours due to line repairs

Disruption to train journeys between Preston, Blackpool North, Wigan and Manchester are expected until 2pm today.

Thursday, 13th February 2020, 8:39 am
Updated Thursday, 13th February 2020, 10:03 am

Network Rail said it will be forced to close the line between Preston and Bolton in both directions from 9.30am until around 1.30pm to repair the damage.

Major disruption is expected with services running between Preston and Bolton to be cancelled for around four hours.

It means most Preston and Blackpool North services to and from Manchester stations will be cancelled.

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Northern said it expects services to remain disrupted until around 2pm.

Repairs will also disrupt services between Wigan Wallgate, Wigan North Western and Manchester Victoria via Bolton.

But alternative train services will run between Wigan Wallgate/North Western and Manchester stations as these can divert via an alternative route via Atherton.

Some alternative services will also be running from Wigan North Western to Preston and Blackpool on the West Coast Main Line and is unaffected by the problems at Bolton.

Disruption is expected between Preston and Manchester until 2pm due to damage to the overhead electric wires

Alternative services will also run between Blackpool North and Preston, as well as between Bolton and Manchester stations and Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport.

These services are expected to run around once an hour.

Rail replacement coaches will replace trains at all affected stations from 9.30am, with journey times extended by up to 90 minutes as a result.

Buses are scheduled to leave Bolton and Preston stations on the hour and at 30 minutes past each hour.

All services between Preston and Manchester will be replaced by buses for four hours today (February 13) to allow repairs to be made to damaged overhead electric wires near Bolton

Tickets for Northern services will be accepted on TransPennine trains between Manchester Airport and Preston in both directions.

Network Rail engineers have arrived on site to begin repairs to the damaged wires on the northbound line, which has been preventing electric powered trains from running.

It has already led to rush hour cancellations and delays for passengers travelling from Preston and Blackpool North towards Manchester this morning (February 13).

Network Rail said repair work can only begin at 9.30am, following morning rush hour, to prevent further disruption to Northern services elsewhere on the line.

When work is underway, the line will be forced to close in both directions to all types of trains.

Arrangements are being made to ensure that rail replacement coaches will run in lieu of trains during these times.

A spokesman for Northern said: "Due to a fault with the overhead electric wires on the line between Bolton and Preston, an amended service is in operation between a number of stations.

"As a result of the fault, there is now a restriction of what type of trains that Northern can run between Bolton and Preston.

"Trains between Manchester Airport and Blackpool North via Bolton will be also affected, with services either delayed or cancelled.

"This is because it is now unsafe to run electric powered trains.

"Diesel trains can operate as these run clear of the overhead lines."

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