TRAVELLERS will face disruption for nine days with rail replacement buses in service as the planned closure of the East Lancashire line starts this weekend.

A railway bridge near Accrington will be replaced and another at Rose Grove in Burnley - both over the Leeds and Liverpool canal - will be strengthened as part of the Great North Rail Project between February 15-23.

This £3.95m investment by Network Rail will ensure more reliable journeys for passengers for years to come, it says.

Sarah Padmore, scheme project manager at Network Rail, said: “I’m grateful to passengers, canal users and residents for their patience while our £3.95m essential bridge and track repair work is carried out.

“We are urging anyone who is planning to travel by train between 15-23 February to plan their journeys and check before they travel. Our vital repair work will help keep passenger services reliable and safe for decades to come.”

Passengers are being warned that between February 15-23 there will be no trains running between Blackburn and Colne. Meanwhile this weekend and next no trains will run between Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley Manchester Road and Hebden Bridge.

On weekdays between February 17 and 21 there will be no trains operating between Blackburn and Accrington.

The work being carried out to have new drainage in the Rose Grove areas and make improvements to the Towneley Tunnel and Gannow Junction. The canopy over the platforms at Nelson station is also being re-glazed.

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern said: “The vital work being carried out by Network Rail will provide our customers with a more reliable railway for many years.

Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, said: “I’m pleased to see Network Rail investing in the East Lancashire Line and in Nelson station.

“Whilst some short term disruption to journeys will be inevitable, these improvements should ensure we get the more reliable service we all desperately want to see on our local line.”

There will also be two closures of the canal by Accrington Golf Club until Friday, March 13, and at Rosegrove until March 6.

To plan journeys and check for the latest travel information, visit