Wigan to Bolton electrification

We are electrifying the railway between Wigan and Bolton to future proof the railway for greener, cleaner, quieter trains.

Image credit: Network Rail Air Operations

This £78m investment involves installing overhead line equipment carrying 25,000 volts of electricity over the railway, and improving signalling between Wigan North Western station and Lostock Junction in Bolton.

This work will ensure the track is ready for Northern’s longer, electric trains when they are introduced along the route.

The work requires Hindley and Ince stations to be temporarily closed for some time in 2023.

Hindley station closure

Hindley station will be closed from Monday 13 March and Monday 24 July 2023 so its platforms can be extended to increase capacity for passengers. Trains will continue to run on both the Atherton and Westhoughton routes between Wigan and Manchester but they will not stop at Hindley.

To make way for the overhead lines, seventeen structures need to be overhauled. This could involve raising the height of a bridge to make room for overhead wires or closing a level crossing. If you live near to one of the structures, we will be in touch with you to hear your thoughts and keep you informed of our work.

Ladies Lane bridge replacement

Ladies Lane bridge is being replaced between Saturday 24 June and Friday 30 June 2023 when the road will need to close, with a diversion route in place for road users. A temporary walkway has been provided to the west of the existing bridge during the construction work, to give pedestrians access over the railway line.

Access for cars and motorcycles will not be permitted until Friday 1 September across Ladies Lane railway bridge. Cyclists must dismount to cross the temporary walkway.

The use of this walkway for pedestrians will not be permitted whilst the bridge demolition operations are in progress and whilst we undertake lifting operations to ensure the traveling public’s safety. This means a footpath diversion will be in place from the evening of Friday 23 June to Monday 26 June.

While work like this is carefully planned to cause the least possible disruption to rail passengers, a six-day railway closure will also be needed between Saturday 24 June and Friday 30 June.

During that time replacement buses will keep people on the move between Wigan North Western, Westhoughton, Daisy Hill, Ince and Lostock.

People planning rail travel between Wigan and Bolton between those dates are being advised to check National Rail in advance and to allow extra time for their journeys.

Diversion route

For those travelling from the Ladies Lane side of the bridge closure, you will be directed onto A58 towards Westhoughton and then long B5236 Church Street, left onto A6 and left onto B5239 Bolton Road. 

For those travelling from the Hall Lane side of the bridge closure, you will be directed right onto B5239 Bolton Road, right onto A6, through Westhoughton onto A58. Please download our diversion map to see these routes.

Find out more about the work

We will be holding community information events for people who live near the railway and our passengers. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact us.

Contact us

For more information or to get in touch with us, please contact us by visiting our contact us page or calling our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.