A new Manchester route has been incorporated into Burnley’s branch station, enabling the rail service to run from Blackburn through several towns before finally stopping at Manchester Victoria.
The renovated station was completed in March this year, and services have been running successfully since May.
Originally Manchester Road station was built in 1886 but was closed on November 6th 1961. Subsequently the station was reopened in September 1986, but was in use as a daily storage facility.
Burnley Council and the Lancashire County Council then obtained the site in November 2011, with aspirations to utilising the building again for rail requirements.
Newly created facilities which have been integrated within the station include a ticketing office, brand new shelters, a community room as well as a renovated entrance for pedestrians. In addition, more than fifty new parking spaces in the car park have been added to the station.
The construction programme utilised existing stone from the original building which not only saved money, but has helped retain some of the character of the original station. A contemporary curtain wall was then applied to the front entrance and a glazed skyline was added to give it a more modern touch.
Lancashire-based construction company Walter Carefoot & Sons was presented with the contract to build the new station, and alongside architectural and engineering support provided by Hyder and Strzala, managed to successfully finalise the railway station.
Operating since 1929, Carefoot & Sons have worked for the Lancashire County Council for the past fifty years. The main contractors were granted the chance to be considered for Lancashire County Council’s framework, and in the last three years have delivered 85 successful projects for the Council aside from Manchester Road station.
Burnley Council hosted an event on 15th August last year to celebrate the beginning of the £2.3million construction and mark the start of a new contemporary railway project. Now work has been completed on the project, the station is expecting to see an increase in the number of passengers, in what is already the busiest station in Burnley.
Council Leader, Councillor Julie Cooper, said:
“For some passengers it can be the first impression they get of a town, and with the transformations underway in Burnley, with new schools, college and universities, it is important that visitors arriving, or passing through see the ‘new’ modern, changing Burnley. This was a vitally important project for Burnley’s future economic growth.”
The collaborating chief partners, dignitaries and other significant members appeared at the impressive ceremony, including Lancashire County Council representing Citizen’s Rail Interreg IVB, one of the key funders within the development. The Mayor of Burnley, Councillor Frank Cant and Rail Development Team Manager Richard Watts, were also present.
County Councillor John Fillis, Lancashire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said:
“We’re at the start of what will be a new and more prosperous time for Burnley as a result of being able to travel to Manchester in under an hour thanks to the restored Todmorden Curve.”