Manchester to Preston improvements

We're upgrading one of the North West's busiest routes to prepare for faster trains with more space for passengers.

LNW Manchester to Preston improvement route map

Image 1: A wiring team working at Bolton station

Image 2: Team Orange complete the installation of over wiring through the Farnworth Tunnel in Bolton

Image 3: Overhead line engineers working at Lostock Junction

Image 4: A view of platform adjustment works beneath Rumworth Road bridge at Lostock station

What's happening?

We're upgrading the railway between Manchester and Preston via Bolton as part of our multi-billion pound Great North Rail Project, which will help deliver faster, greener, quieter and more reliable journeys.


We're grateful to residents and passengers for their ongoing patience while we build a better railway in the north west. A huge amount of work has already been carried out on the route between Manchester and Preston - to date, over 20 bridges have been reconstructed to make space for new overhead equipment that is now being installed to support the introduction of better trains.

Upgrading track between Manchester and Preston - project update

Work to install all 1,659 foundations has now been completed. Team Orange are installing the remaining steel masts and wiring is well underway across the route. The project was due to complete this December but the discovery of old mine workings, running sand and varying layers of rock have held up the installation of hundreds of steel columns to carry the power cables for the introduction of electric trains. New engineering solutions have been needed - using steel cylinders and filling them with concrete to support poor ground conditions.

Image 1: In July, work was completed to install a new footbridge at Red Moss level crossing in Horwich

Image 2 and 3: Engineers install new overhead electrical wires on the Manchester to Preston railway

Image 4: Team Orange engineers installing new overhead equipment on Yarrow Viaduct in Chorley