Train disruption as Manchester to Preston line electrified

First Transpennine Express train
Image caption First TransPennine Express said trains would run during peak times on the Chorley route

There will be disruption to train services between Manchester and Preston for two years from next month as the line is electrified.

First TransPennine Express trains will be diverted, with fewer services to Chorley, Horwich Parkway and Lostock.

Diesel trains that currently run on the line will no longer be able to use it.

Network Rail said the £400m scheme will improve journey times. Work on the line to Chorley is due to begin on 8 December.

Hassard Stacpoole from Network Rail said: "The railway was built 170 years ago and we have to be able to put the equipment in to electrify the line, that is the overhead wires which carry the power.

"We are also upgrading the line speed, so journey times between places like Preston and Manchester and Bolton and Manchester will be quicker."

The first part of the electrification programme linking Manchester to the West Coast Mainline has been completed.

First TransPennine Express said the majority of services operating between Manchester and Cumbria / Scotland will be re-routed via Wigan.

A spokesman said trains would run during peak times on the Chorley route.

The electrification of the line is part of the government's plan for a new Northern Hub, from London to Birmingham and to Manchester and Leeds, announced in 2009.

Work on the line to Chorley is expected to be completed in 2016.

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