Todmorden Curve, a 500 metre area of train track linking Burnley with Manchester city centre, is being reopened.
The project will be opened in May 2014 and will considerably shorten commuting time for those working in the city centre.
Works on the track will be completed by the end of 2013 but the reopening date has been put off until May to allow for the strengthening of Holme Tunnel in Cliviger. The tunnel is on the Copy Pit Line, running from Burnley to Todmorden.
Upon completion passengers will be able to alight the train and travel direct from the newly refurbished Manchester Road Station to Manchester Victoria in the city centre. Burnley Council, with Lancashire County Council, the East Lancashire Rail Partnership, Northern Rail and Network Rail has been redeveloping Manchester Road Station ahead of May 2014.
The Burnley based station is already the busiest in the area and passenger numbers are set to increase following the implementation of the Todmorden Curve changes. The refurbishment of the station was completed earlier this year.
The station is now owned by Burnley Council and Lancashire County Council who have continued to develop the site since gaining ownership of it in November 2011. Since then the majority of the site has been cleared which spans 3.9 hectares leaving only the former station building standing.
The most recent project has completely regenerated the site, which now boasts a new railway station building, manned ticket facilities, canopies for the station building and waiting shelters on platform’s one and two. A community facility has also been erected on site and will be used by the east Lancashire Community Rail partnership and Northern Rail Community Ambassadors.
The station also has improved pedestrian access and car parking space for 54 cars, as well as boasting new cycle parking spaces.
The Todmorden Curve development will cut travel times for those travelling form East Lancashire to Manchester city centre by almost a third. The journey time, previously taking 145 minutes, will now take 53 minutes on a direct route.