Network Rail has invested heavily into its railway lines in northern England in an attempt to transform train access in this region of the country.
It is ploughing £725,000 into the Great North Rail Project to improve the connection between Liverpool and Manchester, and work on this is now underway.
Scheme project manager at Network Rail Jack Ryder said: “We are keeping our railways across the north in good working order by removing any obstacles that have the potential to disrupt people’s journeys.”
Earlier this month, the railway group revealed its Team Orange have begun filling a disused subway with 2,000 tonnes of stone near Eccles station. This will help make the track overhead safer.
As a result of this heavy railway engineering work taking place between August 13th and September 21st, the line will be closed intermittently. Commuters should make other travel arrangements on the weekend of September 8th, so engineers can fill in the former railway underneath the station and remove it from use entirely.
Mr Ryder reassured passengers that continue to use the line at the moment it remains “completely safe”.
However, he noted the upgrade investment will “not only improve the quality of the track, but it will mean less maintenance costs are required at this location in the future”.
This is just one of the features of the Great North Rail Project, with the entire initiative expected to overhaul train travel for those in northern England.
The multi-billion pound scheme also includes a £340 million upgrade to Liverpool stations, including Liverpool Lime Street and the building of a new Maghull North station.
In addition to this, the railway between Manchester and Preston will be upgraded so it can cope with faster train services in the future that hold more people. This upgrade has seen 20 bridge constructions so there is enough room for overhead equipment to be installed for the new line.
Work has already begun on several assignments that make up the Great North Rail Project, including remodelling and lengthening the platforms at Liverpool Lime Street to fit in longer trains, as well as improving the track layout.
Network Rail hopes work will come to an end by 2022, giving the railway giant just four more years to finish this ambitious initiative.
It hopes that when the work has finished, it will result in a number of substantial benefits to the region. For a start, it will provide faster train services that run more frequently and reliably, and offer a more comfortable experience for commuters, as carriages are able to hold more seats.
Therefore, journey times between important towns and cities in the north will be reduced, which will benefit businesses as they will be better connected to each other.
The entire UK economy could, therefore, see many advantages of these railway improvements, enabling commuters to live further away from their place of work and spreading wealth away from just the biggest cities.