Passengers are being advised to plan their journeys ahead of essential weekend railway upgrades in East Lancashire later this year.

Six major projects are taking place to improve journeys and make the railway more reliable for passengers and freight in Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Todmorden and Bolton.

The work will happen over six consecutive weekends from 10 November until 8 December and has been planned to cause the least disruption to the fewest number of passengers.

The £3.5 million Great North Rail Project work includes:

  • Track foundation stone (ballast) work at Lostock Hall Junction near Preston (10 November)
  • A redundant railway arch will be filled in at George Street in Blackburn (16-17 November)
  • A railway bridge over the East Lancashire line will be replaced in Townley, Burnley (16-17 and 23-24 November)
  • Track drainage will be improved north of Blackburn station (16-17 and 23-24 November)
  • Platforms will be extended at Hall I’th Wood station for new Northern trains (16-17 and 23-24 November)
  • Track will be renewed through Kitsonwood Tunnel in Todmorden (8 December)

Anna-Jane Hunter, director for North of England rail said: “I want to thank passengers and lineside neighbours in advance for their patience while we complete a number of vital upgrades in Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Bolton and Todmorden later this year. This weekend work taking between 10 November and 8 December is part of the Great North Rail Project to help improve the reliability and performance of rail services across the North.

“If people plan to travel by rail over these weekends, I ask that they plan ahead by checking www.nationalrail.co.uk or with Northern as there may be changes to services.”

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “We are working with colleagues at Network Rail to keep disruption for our customers to a minimum. The work being carried out is vital for the future of the rail infrastructure in Lancashire and will pave the way for more reliable services. I’m grateful for the ongoing patience and understanding of our customers whilst this important Great North Rail Project work is completed.”

On 10, 16, 17 and 24 November, and on 1 and 8 December, both buses and trains will serve different stations between Preston, Blackburn, Accrington and Burnley while improvement work takes place.

Passengers are being advised to check www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their train operator before travelling.