Passengers travelling between Chester and Manchester via Altrincham are benefitting from faster and smoother journeys thanks to modernised railway tracks.

The £800,000 investment as part of the Great North Rail Project saw old sleepers, railway stone and rail brought completely up to date.

The previous poor condition of the track through the ‘Bleeding wolf’* area of Hale meant trains could only travel at 20mph. Now with stronger and more water resilient track in place, the speed of trains has tripled to 60mph.

Adrian Brookes, planning manager at Network Rail said: “Our £800,000 Great North Rail Project investment means that Northern’s trains can travel at top speeds of 60mph instead of 20mph previously. This will help Cheshire and Greater Manchester passengers get to their places of work or leisure more comfortably, faster and more reliably.

“We are very grateful to passengers and lineside neighbours for their patience during late July and early August while the railway was closed to complete this vital renewal work.”

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “Thanks to the Great North Rail Project the track at Altrincham is now future-proofed, improving and protecting the journeys of our customers for years to come.

“I’d like to, again, thank those customers who use the line for their patience whilst this essential work was carried out.”

Simon Elliott, head of rail programme at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “This upgrade is a superb example of the Great North Rail project in action. It will mean faster, more comfortable journeys and hopefully encourage more people to choose to travel by train.”

Around 2,500 tonnes of ballast (railway stone), 700 new sleepers and 500m of new drainage were laid over a 1km section of track over three consecutive Sundays – 30 June, and 7 and 14 July – and throughout the weekend of 10 and 12 August.

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