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Bore work enables faster trains to run through Farnworth Tunnel

Work has been completed to widen one bore of the Farnworth Tunnel in Lancashire, so that it can accommodate two rail tracks. It follows two weekends of engineering works during which specialist equipment was used to remove the temporary track layout that had been installed.

In the first week of February trains were able to travel through the rebuilt tunnel at the new maximum line speed of 75mph. Network Rail says that this will be raised to 100mph when the line is electrified.

Under Network Rail’s Enhancements Delivery Plan Update (RAIL 793), the electrification between Stalybridge, Manchester Victoria and Preston (which includes Farnworth Tunnel) is due to be completed by December 2017, a one-year delay on previous plans.

Watch the video of Farnworth Tunnel below.

  • For more on this, read RAIL 794, published on February 17.


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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 05/02/2016 00:58

    So what will happen to the other tunnel as it was used as a northbound tunnel. Is it going to be covered up and closed up or is it likely to be a bridleway for horses and for walkers with light being fitted above as the former railway tunnel could become a bridleway tunnel as the southbound tunnel is now widened for double tracks and for new electrification and overhead wires to be installed as part of the Northern Powerhouse as the line goes from Manchester to Bolton and to Warrington or Wigan.

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    • FrankH - 05/02/2016 13:11

      The line is Manchester - Bolton then to Preston/Wigan/ Blackburn. Warrington is via Salford Central I think. The old tunnel (you can just see it in the top photo to the left of the new one) will be closed off, I can't see money being spent to convert it.

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      • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 08/02/2016 12:29

        So the old tunnel will be closed off. Why cant the old tunnel be used as a bridleway for walkers and horses with new lights installed above. Most railway tunnels that are deserted and unused are now being used as a pedestrian tunnel. But guess that the old tunnel is to be closed off.

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        • FrankH - 10/02/2016 08:51

          Main problem with the old tunnel is the new one next to it with trains going through it. Trains going past at 70 mph and horses next to them don't go to well together.

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