Station improvement work begins as part of plans to improve journeys to and from Bolton.(Network Rail)

Station improvement work begins as part of plans to improve journeys to and from BoltonBolton station ticket gates

Bolton station platform 5, currently an unofficial car park & Ticket gates.(Network Rail Images)
Passengers using Bolton station will see platform improvement work starting next week as part of plans to provide passengers with faster, electric train services from December 2017.

The work at Bolton forms part of Network Rail’s £1bn+ Great North Rail Project and will see improvements to train services between Manchester and Preston.

The next phase of the upgrade will begin on Sunday (26 March) but train services to and from Bolton will continue to run as normal.

Terry Strickland, area director for Network Rail said:

“We are investing heavily in Bolton as part of our national Railway Upgrade Plan to provide passengers with the railway that will meet their needs for decades to come as well as help boost the economy across the north of England.

“To deliver it, significant engineering is required to improve the track layout, rebuild platforms, cut back canopies and make space for new equipment to power electric trains through Bolton from December 2017.

“We are also reinstating platform 5, which has been out of use since the early 1990s, to allow more trains to run between Manchester and Preston. The work is vital to modernising the railway and will help to create better, faster and more frequent journeys for passengers in Bolton.”

Building work has already started to reinstate a fifth platform at Bolton and the next phase of the project involves reconstructing the station’s existing platforms and canopies.

From 26 March, sections of platforms 1 and 3 will be fenced off to allow work to begin and this will mean changes to walking routes to platforms 1, 2 and 3 with passengers advised to allow additional time and take extra care when using these platforms.

The platforms are being rebuilt in sections to allow the station to stay open and keep passengers on the move. In order to complete major track and signalling upgrades in Bolton there will be some changes to train services in the summer and we will communicate these to passengers later in the spring.

Liam Sumpter, regional director for Northern, said:

“We made a commitment to improve rail services for all customers, and the proposed improvements at Bolton – which are already taking shape following the introduction of the gatelines – are just one way in which we are delivering on that commitment.

“Of course, there is more work to be done and we are improving the carriages on our network, introducing new carriages and developing stations as part of a modernisation scheme that will, when complete, deliver a railway fit for the 21st Century.”

This development will go hand-in-hand with ambitious multi-million pound plans to modernise Northern’s rail services in Greater Manchester. Northern is refurbishing all the trains and carriages on its network and, in a move that will see all Pacers removed by 2020, is introducing 281 new, purpose built carriages.

Northern also has plans to modernise Bolton railway station itself and has begun this programme with the introduction of automated gatelines which help to improve security and encourage all customers to hold a valid ticket before they board trains. In the coming months there will be further work at the station to improve lighting, refresh paintwork and make the general environment more welcoming.