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£14 million Darwen doubling complete

The £14 million, five-week Network Rail project to double sections of track around Darwen in Lancashire has been completed, and the line re-opened on schedule on August 24.

Funded by Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council, the scheme will allow half-hourly trains to run throughout the day between Manchester, Bolton and Blackburn.

However, with the change of Northern franchisee due next April, it is unlikely that this extra capacity will be actually used until at least the May 2016 timetable change, and more probably December 2016.

Additional track has been installed for 1,310m (1,430 yards) at the south end of the present Darwen loop and for 1,110m (1,210 yards) at the north end, so as to make the line in that area double-track.

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