ANOTHER key signal on the route to East Lancashire’s rail revolution goes green next week when councillors approve the details of the £20 million Clitheroe to Manchester upgrade.

For the first time full preparation for electrification and revamping five stations is included in the proposals originally revealed in September.

Papers published today recommending Blackburn with Darwen’s Executive Board rubber stamp the scheme follow the confirmation of new trains for the Todmorden Curve.

The action will speed trains from Blackburn, Accrington and Burnley Manchester Road to Manchester.


The detailed proposals will dual the single line sections of line from Clitheroe, Blackburn, Darwen and Bolton to the city bringing 14 extra trains a day and a half-hourly service from between rush hours.

They ensure the track will be doubled for its full length between Blackburn and Bolton, with the single-line Sough Tunnel south of Darwen and Farnworth Tunnel in Bolton upgraded.

Construction will start in May 2015 with the major capital works completed by the autumn for the every 30-minute services introduction in December 2016.

The upgrade will prepare the line from Bolton to Clitheroe for the future completion of proposed electrification between Manchester and the town.

Investment in Entwistle, Clitheroe, Whalley, Ramsgreave and Wilpshire and Langho stations is included.

Borough regeneration boss Maureen Bateson said: “This is another crucial stage in developing an improved rail network for East Lancashire.”