Electric train passes through Bolton for the first time

Posted: 17 December 2018 | | 1 comment

This marks a milestone in the Great North Rail Project, the rail industry’s joint programme to transform train travel for customers through track and train upgrades.


An electric train has been used to test new infrastructure along the 25-mile route via Salford, Bolton and Chorley, for the first time, as the upgrade project nears completion.

The train was closely monitored by Network Rail engineers checking the new overhead power lines.

These test runs are the first of two phases to check new electrical infrastructure works correctly. The second, in January 2019, will check the infrastructure can handle faster train speeds for improved passenger journey times.

The Manchester-Preston upgrade will give Northern and TransPennine Express customers faster and more comfortable journeys as a new fleet of electric trains replace old Pacer trains.

Martin Frobisher, Route Managing Director for Network Rail’s London and North Western route, said: “This challenging upgrade has been really disruptive for passengers and our train operating partners who use this route. We’re sorry for this. I would like to thank local people for their patience, and I hope this milestone reassures them the end is in sight.”

Earlier in 2018, Birmingham and Bromsgrove witnessed their first electric train travelling through.

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One response to “Electric train passes through Bolton for the first time”

  1. Michael Breslin says:

    I gather a Pendolino was hired by Network Rail because they do not possess a specialist overhead line equipment test train. What is not clear is whether the train carried any special recording equipment or whether it was merely a case of engineers riding with the driver and listening out for potential faults. Hopefully, Northern and TPE electric trains will soon be seen at Bolton on crew training runs.

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