This spring work will begin to improve the railway between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge/Rochdale as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU).

Queen's Road compound in Miles Platting, Manchester

Piling work

We will be carrying out engineering work between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge which involves installing steel piles next to the railway to support future masts and electric wires.

The piling will be a seven-month overnight programme initially starting at track in Collyhurst and Miles Platting before moving along to other areas. We are carrying this activity out overnight for safety reasons, as work of this type cannot be done whilst trains are running during the day.

Our specialist teams will be overnight piling at track in Collyhurst and Miles Platting on the following dates:

  • Saturday 24 April 2021 (22:00-08:00)
  • Saturday 01 May 2021 (22:00-08:00)
  • Saturday 08 May 2021 (22:00-08:00)
  • Saturday 15 May 2021 (22:00-08:00)

Due to the nature of this work, it is expected that you will experience a moderate/high level of noise disturbance. We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause to you and aim to get the work done as quickly as possible.

Please note: Due to the ground and weather conditions, there may be changes made to the piling schedule. Please check this page for latest updates.

Virtual Community Event

We would like to invite members of the community to a ‘Virtual Community Event’. Members of the project team will be on hand to explain the work in more detail. We will also be answering any further questions you may have.

To join the event, please visit Manchester Piling Event  from 18:00pm – 19:00pm on Wednesday 14 April 2021.

You can read more about the piling process and the level of disruption you may experience by visiting our piling page

Key rail infrastructure in Greater Manchester will be upgraded this summer as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) vision to deliver more frequent, more reliable and faster train services between Northern towns and cities.

The work will take place east of Manchester Victoria station, closing the lines towards Stalybridge and Rochdale, with a 16-day railway closure between these destinations from the 31 July and 15 August 2021.  The lines will reopen on Monday 16 August.

Despite the 16-day closure, direct train travel between Manchester and Leeds will still be possible but with trains departing/arriving via Manchester Piccadilly instead of Manchester Victoria station.

Why does the railway need to close?

During the 16-day closure hundreds of railway workers will be working day and night to renew key sections of track and upgrade several railway bridges to improve reliability.  This important work is the first step to enable wider improvements that are expected to bring much needed benefits to passengers.

The work forms part of TRU’s wider goal to deliver sought-after improvements along the full 76-mile Transpennine route – stretching from York to Manchester, via Leeds and Huddersfield.

The need to close the railway for 16-days is to provide enough time to refurbish and strengthen Dantzic Street underbridge in Manchester city centre, which has to be constructed from 38 sections due to surrounding constraints. This methodology has been presented and agreed with industry partners as the most appropriate construction method to allow safe and efficient construction in the quickest timeframe possible.

Benefits

Once the bridges are reconstructed this will contribute to allowing for increased weight loading and creates the potential for a higher frequency of trains to run over them. The railway bridges that will be upgraded are Dantzic Street in Manchester city centre, Queens Road in Miles Platting, Bromley Street subway and Oldham Road.

The track renewal work will focus on the section of line at Miles Platting and will help improve train reliability.

Where possible we aim to carry out work on the railway during mid-week and weekend overnight possessions that do not have an impact on train services. However, for some of the large pieces of work we will require longer possessions that will affect train services.

Between 31 July and 15 August 2021:

  • There will be no trains between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge and Manchester Victoria and Rochdale until these lines reopen on 16 August.
  • However, direct train travel between Manchester and Leeds will still be possible, but departing/arriving via Manchester Piccadilly instead of Manchester Victoria station
  • There will be a bus replacement service in operation between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria calling at Castleton, Mills Hill and Moston stations. This will affect passengers travelling between Bradford to Manchester on the Calder Valley line.
  • There will be alternative transport provided between Stalybridge and Manchester Victoria, calling via Ashton
  • It will still be possible for those planning holidays to catch a train from Yorkshire areas to Manchester airport, however passengers will need to change trains at Manchester Piccadilly
  • Liverpool to Manchester will be served by an hourly Liverpool to Manchester Airport service stopping via Manchester Piccadilly
  • Other impacts on train services are currently being finalised and will be shared soon
  • Precise details of alternative train and bus timetables will be released later this year

Additional railway upgrade work between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge/Rochdale is also being planned for several weekends and bank holidays from late August through to early 2022.

The below dates and travel impact have been confirmed. Other dates are currently being finalised and will be communicated soon.

  • Sunday 22 August – This will mean all trains between Leeds and Manchester on the Transpennine route departing/arriving at Manchester Piccadilly only. There will also be some changes to morning train services between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria.
  • Sunday 5 September – This will mean all trains between Leeds and Manchester on the Transpennine route departing/arriving at Manchester Piccadilly only. There will also be some changes to morning train services between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria.

Frequently asked questions

Transpennine upgrade

TRU is a multi-billion pound, transformative, long-term railway infrastructure programme that will improve connectivity in the North between York and Manchester, via Leeds and Huddersfield.

It will support economic growth in the North at a vital time and deliver real benefits for passengers and communities along this pivotal rail artery.

TRU will transform the Transpennine Main Line into a high-performing, reliable railway for passengers with improved train punctuality, more trains and faster journey times. The scale of the project means that there will be planned disruption to train services to enable work to be carried out, but we are committed to keeping passengers moving on a train as often as possible, on time and in comfort as a key priority.

In July 2020, the government announced £589m of additional funding to kickstart the programme to enable us to make contract awards this summer for the next phase of design activity and the construction work in Greater Manchester.

Work has also already started between York and Church Fenton to provide a more resilient and reliable railway for passengers.

A project of this scale means that there will be many times when sections of the line have to be closed so that improvement work can be carried out.  The times when we have to close the railway are being carefully planned so that it causes the least disruption, which means work will often take place overnight under possession, at weekends, and outside of peak rush hours where possible.

When we have to close the railway, keeping passengers moving in comfort and on time is our key priority, whether by train diversion or alternative transport such as bus replacements.

We are committed to giving passengers honest and clear information to help plan their journeys and will ensure we give as much notice as possible ahead of travel changes.  We are confident that the long-term legacy of the project will be worth the shorter-term inconvenience of the disruption.

Manchester to Stalybridge/Rochdale

The alternative train and bus timetable plan (as a result of the impact of Covid-19 on timetabling demands) will not be finalised until approximately eight weeks before the closure of the railway begins. Once this is available, we will ensure it is communicated out to passengers for awareness.

Travel between affected stations will still be possible either via train or on a replacement bus and we are working together as an industry to develop the best possible plan for our customers.

We are designing plans to potentially electrify the line between Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge stations which will be delivered, subject to funding. As part of this we are planning OLE piling that is due to commence in Spring.

The work we are doing in the Greater Manchester area will benefit passengers as they start to gradually return to the railway through the course of this year. The work we are doing now is just the start with more improvement work planned in the Manchester area in the coming years.

The Transpennine route is a critical and busy rail artery that, during normal times, has a huge demand placed on it every day. The major upgrades that we have planned for it will help ensure we can continue to meet rail travel demand in the future to ensure passengers travel on time and in comfort.

There will be several other times, mostly at weekends, when we will have to close this stretch of line from late August through to early 2022. Where possible, this engineering work will be carried out during weekend days and nights to try and minimise the impact on travel disruption (when passenger numbers are lower than during the week).

The below dates and travel service changes have been confirmed. But other dates are also currently being planned and will be communicated in the coming months once finalised.

  • Sunday 22 August – This will mean all trains between Leeds and Manchester on the Transpennine route departing/arriving at Manchester Piccadilly only. There will also be some changes to morning train services between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria.
  • Sunday 5 September – This will mean all trains between Leeds and Manchester on the Transpennine route departing/arriving at Manchester Piccadilly only. There will also be some changes to morning train services between Rochdale and Manchester Victoria.

Contact us

For more information on our proposals you can email us at: TranspennineEngagement@networkrail.co.uk

You can also visit our contact us page or call our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.