Half-hourly rail times get closer for East Lancashire

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Local government reporter

RAIL bosses have provided £310,000 to bring a half-hourly train service between Clitheroe, Blackburn and Manchester a step closer.

They have matched the contribution from local councils to pay for the latest feasibility study to upgrade the line by the end of 2016.

Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins has written to Blackburn MP Jack Straw promising the cash for the study into the best way to double the full track between Blackburn and Bolton and upgrade signalling and bridges before bringing in a regular half-hourly service.

Today, his officials were due to meet with Mr Straw and Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry to discuss progress on the programme.

Both MPs and leading East Lancashire Liberal Democrat and rail campaigner Lord Greaves welcome the latest move.

Blackburn with Darwen borough and Lancashire county councils had pledged £310,000 to the study.

Sir David said: “We are prepared to match the local authorities’ costs of this next stage with a £310,000 contribution.”

He also said when his officials meet the MPs they will discuss the detail of how Network Rail plans to ‘accelerate the programme for the works’.

Mr Straw said: “This is very welcome news. It is a step forward in the process of getting the upgrade and half-hourly service.”

Mr Berry said: “I am very pleased at this news. It is further progress on a major improvement in rail links to Darwen, Blackburn, Clitheroe and Manchester.”

Pendle Peer Lord Greaves said: “This is good news for all of East Lancashire. Taken with the Todmorden Curve improvements, the Burnley Manchester Road work and hopefully the reinstatement of the Colne to Skipton line, it is a key part of rail upgrading.”

Comments (6)

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6:39pm Wed 27 Feb 13

shytalk says...

Brilliant..Thankyou those involved.
Brilliant..Thankyou those involved. shytalk
  • Score: 1

7:07pm Wed 27 Feb 13

burner says...

Brilliant . . . but will these trains have seats?
Brilliant . . . but will these trains have seats? burner
  • Score: 0

10:42pm Wed 27 Feb 13

ToffeeGuy says...

.....hopefully the reinstatement of the Colne to Skipton line......

I think this is a bit of a pipe dream. The buses from Colne to Skipton are rarely packed. It would be wonderful but is the demand really there? Cheaper step would be to turn it into a cycle path for the full length so at the track bed is preserved.
.....hopefully the reinstatement of the Colne to Skipton line...... I think this is a bit of a pipe dream. The buses from Colne to Skipton are rarely packed. It would be wonderful but is the demand really there? Cheaper step would be to turn it into a cycle path for the full length so at the track bed is preserved. ToffeeGuy
  • Score: 0

12:27am Thu 28 Feb 13

happycyclist says...

Take a reality check. They can't maintain an hourly service that runs on time, so they've no chance of a half-hourly service without double-tracking the line.
Take a reality check. They can't maintain an hourly service that runs on time, so they've no chance of a half-hourly service without double-tracking the line. happycyclist
  • Score: 0

11:03am Thu 28 Feb 13

Darren1951 says...

"..... the latest feasibility study to upgrade the line...."

So, how many of these **** things are needed before (or if) the idea finally goes ahead? Replacing about 8 miles of single track by double isn't that big a job, or at least it wasn't before all the "consultants" and other jobsworths got involved,
"..... the latest feasibility study to upgrade the line...." So, how many of these **** things are needed before (or if) the idea finally goes ahead? Replacing about 8 miles of single track by double isn't that big a job, or at least it wasn't before all the "consultants" and other jobsworths got involved, Darren1951
  • Score: 0

2:15pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Noiticer says...

Does this mean a £600 000 cost of a survey to tell those who organise the railway something about a task which, on paper, must be quite simple? Putting in an extra track and some signalling isn't rocket science and should be an everyday task to the professionals at Network Rail. No wonder this country is declining if we can't get the simple things done efficiently and quickly.
At least we are heading 'down the right track' albeit slowly.
Does this mean a £600 000 cost of a survey to tell those who organise the railway something about a task which, on paper, must be quite simple? Putting in an extra track and some signalling isn't rocket science and should be an everyday task to the professionals at Network Rail. No wonder this country is declining if we can't get the simple things done efficiently and quickly. At least we are heading 'down the right track' albeit slowly. Noiticer
  • Score: 0

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