In order to make one of the world’s oldest railway tunnels more dependable for passengers this autumn, Network Rail is upgrading paths through the 180-year-old Summit tunnel among Rochdale and Hebden Bridge.
This railway tunnel, which was constructed between 1838 and 1841 as part of the Manchester and Leeds railway, will see around 3km of track replacement across both railway lines inside the tunnel with 2.6km length.
From 23 to 31 October, is the determined date for implementing the £2M Great North Rail Project investment by Network Rail, while the railway is due to be closed nine days for the basic work to take place.
According to Network Rail North West head of performance and customer relationship Karen Hornby’s description, the improvements are “vital”.
She said: “The work will mean fewer train delays on the Calder Valley line and make tracks inside the Victorian-built structure fit for the 21st century. However, replacing track like this means we have no choice but to close the line for old sections to be ripped up and replaced with new. I’d urge anyone planning to travel over the nine-day railway closure to check National Rail Enquiries so they know exactly what to expect from their journeys.”
“The work will provide our customers with an even more reliable railway. We are sorry for any disruption during the improvements and our customers can be assured that both Northern and Network Rail will do everything possible to minimize the impact of the work and deliver alternatives that keep people on the move,” stated Northern regional director Chris Jackson.
Network Rail is also working with the Environment Agency which will be upgrading a culvert beneath the railway lines as part of a wider flood defense project in the area.
In accordance with Environment Agency senior flood risk advisor Nick Pearson’s statement: “Working in partnership with Network Rail as part of the proposed £56M Rochdale and Littleborough Flood Risk Management Scheme will make a huge difference to rail passengers, residents, and the local economy.”
Pearson also added: “This project, one of the biggest flood alleviation schemes in the north of England, will play a crucial role in better protecting the community from the risk of flooding and we are pleased to see it progress.”