Rail passengers are being warned to plan ahead while essential canal bridge repairs take place for nine days in East Lancashire next month.

Between 15-23 February one railway bridge near Accrington will be replaced and another at Rose Grove in Burnley – both over the Leeds and Liverpool canal – will be strengthened as part of the Great North Rail Project.

The East Lancashire line between Colne and Blackburn will be closed throughout the work. Sections of the line between Blackburn, Accrington and Burnley are also affected, with bus replacement services running to keep passengers on the move.

This £3.95m investment by Network Rail will ensure more reliable journeys for passengers for years to come.

Sarah Padmore, scheme project manager at Network Rail, said: “I’m grateful to passengers, canal users and residents for their patience while our £3.95m essential bridge and track repair work is carried out.

“We are urging anyone who is planning to travel by train between 15-23 February to plan their journeys and check before they travel. Our vital repair work will help keep passenger services reliable and safe for decades to come.”

Passengers are advised that:

  • Between 15-23 February, no trains will run between Blackburn and Colne.
  • During the weekends of 15-16 and 22-23 February no trains will run between Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley Manchester Road and Hebden Bridge.
  • During the week days of 17-21 February, no trains will operate between Blackburn and Accrington.

To maximise the work carried out during the full railway closure, new drainage will also be laid in the Rose Grove area and track improvements made at Townley Tunnel and Gannow Junction.

The canopy over the platforms at Nelson station is also being re-glazed.

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern said: “The vital work being carried out by Network Rail will provide our customers with a more reliable railway for many years.

“We will continue to work closely with colleagues across the rail industry to minimise the impact on our customers and I’d like to thank our customers, in advance, for their patience and understanding while the work is completed.”

Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, said: “I’m pleased to see Network Rail investing in the East Lancashire Line and in Nelson station. Whilst some short term disruption to journey’s will be inevitable, these improvements should ensure we get the more reliable service we all desperately want to see on our local line.”

The East Lancashire line is used by passengers travelling between Blackpool, Preston, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester, via Accrington and Burnley.

There will also be two closures of the canal and its towpaths by Oswaldtwistle Golf Club from Monday, January 20, until the Friday, March 13, and at Rosegrove from January, 27, until March 6.

To plan journeys and check for the latest travel information, visit www.nationalrail.co.uk.