Network Rail starts work on 17m pounds investment in Cheshire bridges and viaduct
OREANDA-NEWS. The vital refurbishment will make the railway safer and more reliable for passengers, motorists, pedestrians and canal users but the scale of the work means the line from Crewe to Manchester and Sandbach to Northwich will be closed between 13 and 24 February while the improvements are made.
As part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan the Grade-II listed viaducts at Holmes Chapel and Peover – two of Cheshire’s most well-known architectural landmarks – are receiving a full makeover, including the removal of water stains on the walls, brickwork repairs and waterproofing.
At the same time, Network Rail engineers will undertake strengthening work to the Hungerford Road bridge in Crewe, Shipbrook Road bridge in Rudheath and to the Whatcroft underbridge and the Trent and Mersey Canal bridge in Davenham.
Network Rail and the train operators which run services on the line – Arriva Trains Wales, Northern Rail, CrossCountry and Virgin Trains – have all worked closely to run as many trains as possible during the work. Some journeys will take longer than usual and some will be replaced by regular bus services.
Terry Strickland, area director for Network Rail said: “While the work will cause some disruption to passengers’ journeys for 11 days, Network Rail has worked with the train operators to ensure all of this work can be conducted at the same time, saving ?500,000 of taxpayers’ money and avoiding longer-term disruption.
“I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience while the work takes place.”
A spokesperson on behalf of Virgin Trains, Northern Rail, CrossCountry trains and Arriva Trains Wales said: "We understand that improvement works impact on passengers. This investment is vital and will deliver real benefits in helping to provide customers with a more reliable railway. All affected train operating companies are working closely with Network Rail to ensure alternative travel arrangements are in place wherever possible and to keep disruption to a minimum whilst this important work is carried out. Our advice to all customers travelling between Manchester and Crewe is to check their journey before they travel.
During the 11-day closure services to Manchester from London and South Wales (and vice-versa) will temporarily by-pass Crewe and be diverted via Macclesfield and Stockport. Local rail services will also be affected between Wilmslow, Stockport and Crewe. Replacement bus services will be provided and alternative routes will be signposted for all passengers who are affected. (Full details are provided below.)
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain’s railway – the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts, and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.6bn journeys by rail every year - double the number of 1996 - and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We’re investing 38bn pounds in the railway by 2019 to deliver more frequent, more reliable, safer services and brighter and better stations.