Following a £10million investment from Burnley Borough Council, Network Rail and Lancashire County Council, a vital new section of rail line has opened in the North West of England for the first time in more than 40 years.
The new rail line runs from both Preston and Hebden Bridge to Manchester Victoria and Leeds, this will enable passengers to have a direct journey and reduce travel time for some by 25 minutes.
Terry Strickland, area director for Network Rail, said: “The reopened Todmorden Curve is a significant improvement to the railway in this part of the country and will allow services to run directly between Manchester Victoria and Burnley Manchester Road for the first time in decades. We have worked closely with Burnley Borough Council, Lancashire County Council and Northern Rail to make this happen and it is an excellent example of partnership working to help deliver a better railway for passengers.”
John Fillis, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport also said: “It is a fantastic achievement by everyone involved to re-establish the direct service from Burnley to Manchester which will extend opportunities for local people and have a real impact on the economy. It shows what can be achieved when partner organisations are clear about their priorities and work closely together to deliver them. The working relationships established will be instrumental in the ongoing transformation of rail services in East Lancashire. I look forward to the service being a great success, paving the way for better trains and faster journey times in the future.”
Councillor Mark Townsend, leader of Burnley Council, said: “We’re delighted to have a direct service to Manchester from Burnley once again. It will bring clear benefits to our economy in terms of access to the job market and establishing Burnley as a commuter town. Our outstanding countryside is even easier to reach for visitors. It’s a real milestone in our continuing success story and one we wish to celebrate.”
Managing director for Northern Rail Alex Hynes also displayed his excitement for this news saying: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate this milestone in railway history without partners. We’re committed to bringing better services, improved stations and a wealth of local opportunities to the region and this new service is a positive step in the right direction for all concerned.”
This opening is just part of the nationwide developments currently underway by the national rail service, contributing to a massive improvement of the UK’s rail infrastructure.
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