Farnworth Tunnel Electrification.

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I've been told that people who live nearby to the Tunnel/Station have received letters from Bolton Council OBO Network Rail, that work will start in April for 6 months. No trains will stop during the period and Bustitution will not reach the station but call in Farnworth centre, due to the local roads.
 
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Howardh

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I've been told that people who live nearby to the Tunnel/Station have received letters from Bolton Council OBO Network Rail, that work will start in April for 6 months. No trains will stop during the period and Bustitution will not reach the station but call in Farnworth centre, due to the local roads.

That's sensible!
Any news of what replacements will be like between Bolton/Manchester yet, eg buses, one line running etc, and if so, where will I find the information? Ta!
 

snowball

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Shouldn't this thread be in the Infrastructure and Stations forum where most discussion of electrification takes place?

Or even merged with the existing thread on Blackpool to Manchester electrification?
 

Howardh

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Shouldn't this thread be in the Infrastructure and Stations forum where most discussion of electrification takes place?

Or even merged with the existing thread on Blackpool to Manchester electrification?

Or as it is because a heck of a lot of people will be disrupted/affected by this ;)
 

Senex

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The reports in the railway press have all said that it is the earlier and originally twin-track tunnel (now the up-line tunnel) that is to be enlarged and brought back into use as a line-speed twin-track tunnel. However, a report to the Metrolink and Rail Networks Sub-Committee of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee by their Head of Rail and dated 24 October 2014 includes:

"4.9 Electrification clearance in Farnworth Tunnel is to be achieved by widening the current Manchester direction bore to take both lines. Work will
commence in April 2015 and continue until 31 August, 2015. During that period there will be bi-directional working in the Manchester direction tunnel, whilst the Bolton direction tunnel is extended and upgraded to take two electrified tracks.

"4.10 From Friday 3rd to Monday 6th April 2015, there will be a complete closure of the route between Salford Crescent and Euxton Junction (near Preston) and between Bolton and Blackburn to allow the Farnworth bi-directional operation to be commissioned. Once completed, the Manchester direction tunnel, which is the oldest of the two, dating from 1838, will be decommissioned with all services using the new tunnel."

This seems to envisage the enlargement work as affecting the newer, single-bore, poorly-aligned (PSR 50mph), tunnel, with the eventual abandonment of the well-aligned original tunnel. Does anyone know if there is a mistake here, or if there has been a change of plan since all the reports in the railway press earlier in the year?
 

snowball

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"4.9 Electrification clearance in Farnworth Tunnel is to be achieved by widening the current Manchester direction bore to take both lines. Work will
commence in April 2015 and continue until 31 August, 2015. During that period there will be bi-directional working in the Manchester direction tunnel, whilst the Bolton direction tunnel is extended and upgraded to take two electrified tracks. ...."

This seems to envisage the enlargement work as affecting the newer, single-bore, poorly-aligned (PSR 50mph), tunnel, with the eventual abandonment of the well-aligned original tunnel. Does anyone know if there is a mistake here, or if there has been a change of plan since all the reports in the railway press earlier in the year?

If you have quoted para 4.9 accurately, then its first sentence contradicts its third sentence, so one of them must be wrong. (That's assuming that we've got the basic story right: one bore will be enlarged to take two electrified tracks, the other will accommodate bi-directional working while it's done, and will then be closed.)
 
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thenorthern

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I would think that as Farnworth is only served by local Northern Rail services they would be the first ones to be withdrawn temporarily if they started using single line working in the Farnworth Tunnel while long distance trains such as the Blackpool, Windermere, Barrow-in-Furness services will continue to run.

Also I don't think there is a crossover for considerable distance either side of the tunnel so even if trains were able to call at one of the Farnworth platforms the dwell time would use up considerable time meaning that other trains would need to be cancelled. I reckon during the works the services will operate in a similar way to how Victoria does now on the Metrolink.
 

Senex

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If you have quoted para 4.9 accurately, then its first sentence contradicts its third sentence, so one of them must be wrong. (That's assuming that we've got the basic story right: one bore will be enlarged to take two electrified tracks, the other will accommodate bi-directional working while it's done, and will then be closed.)

I did it by cut and paste from the document, and you're right about the contradiction in 4.9, but then 4.10 does seem to assert that it's the up tunnel to be abandoned. I suspect the error is in this report, and that it is still the old double-line bore that is to be enlarged, but since the report is newer than any of the news reports it would be nice if anyone were in a position to confirm just what is going to be done between April and August.
 

thenorthern

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Just looking at the map I can't see any crossover between Bolton Station and Agecroft, is this right?
 

driver9000

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Just looking at the map I can't see any crossover between Bolton Station and Agecroft, is this right?

There are crossovers at Bolton East and a facing crossover at Agecroft North (normally used by the loco to run round the binliner trains). There was a rumour of installing temporary crossovers either side of Farnworth tunnel but how true this is I have no idea.
 

muz379

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Just looking at the map I can't see any crossover between Bolton Station and Agecroft, is this right?

from what ive heard they are going to put temp crossovers in either side
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
There are crossovers at Bolton East and a facing crossover at Agecroft North (normally used by the loco to run round the binliner trains). There was a rumour of installing temporary crossovers either side of Farnworth tunnel but how true this is I have no idea.

I have heard it as you have , only time will tell I guess
 

Geeves

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I heard they will install a proper signalled arrangement (albeit temporary) as pilot man working would obviously eat into the capacity even more.
 

muz379

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I heard they will install a proper signalled arrangement (albeit temporary) as pilot man working would obviously eat into the capacity even more.

Yeah this is what I have heard , Pilot man working was ok at chorley when the work there was being done as you only had the one train going to chorley and then back out , this line however is significantly busier than that .
 

snowball

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If you go to http://www.old-maps.co.uk, fill in the coordinates 374600, 405900, scroll down to the description of the most recent large-scale plan showing the whole tunnel ("OS Plan 1970-73 1:1250"), and click on "Enlarge View", you can see a quite detailed plan of the tunnel, showing the two bores and some cross-passages. The up bore appears to be wider at the Bolton end than elsewhere.
 

Joseph_Locke

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If you have quoted para 4.9 accurately, then its first sentence contradicts its third sentence, so one of them must be wrong. (That's assuming that we've got the basic story right: one bore will be enlarged to take two electrified tracks, the other will accommodate bi-directional working while it's done, and will then be closed.)

You are correct, as subsequent posters; a fully-signalled layout will be installed to allow single line operation through what is currently the Down line (smallest) bore, controlled from Manchester Piccadilly.

A tunnelling shield will then be used to enlarge the current Up line (larger) bore to allow 100mph operation by electric trains (which neither bore currenly allows, at any speed, with OLE). At the end of the works both lines will run through the "new" bore and the "old" one will become a cable tunnel. Also included in the works is a new footbridge near Kearsley and the complete reconstruction of Farnworth station. The will be no trains calling at Moses Gate, Farnworth or Kearsley for at least 20 weeks.

Other electrification taks such as track lowering, installation of OLE equipment and an "upgrade" to Moses Gate station will also happen.
 

edwin_m

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A tunnelling shield will then be used to enlarge the current Up line (larger) bore to allow 100mph operation by electric trains (which neither bore currenly allows, at any speed, with OLE). At the end of the works both lines will run through the "new" bore and the "old" one will become a cable tunnel.

Thanks for this definitive explanation. Interesting that a bore built for two tracks should still be too small for one track with OLE.
 

Joseph_Locke

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Thanks for this definitive explanation. Interesting that a bore built for two tracks should still be too small for one track with OLE.

I suspect that, given a pair of Midland Railway 12-wheel Pullman cars couldn't pass in the Up bore (built in 1838, when trains were tiny) then a pair of modern pantograph-be-decked behemoths stand no chance!
 

185143

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Joseph_Locke:2017911 said:
If you have quoted para 4.9 accurately, then its first sentence contradicts its third sentence, so one of them must be wrong. (That's assuming that we've got the basic story right: one bore will be enlarged to take two electrified tracks, the other will accommodate bi-directional working while it's done, and will then be closed.)

You are correct, as subsequent posters; a fully-signalled layout will be installed to allow single line operation through what is currently the Down line (smallest) bore, controlled from Manchester Piccadilly.

A tunnelling shield will then be used to enlarge the current Up line (larger) bore to allow 100mph operation by electric trains (which neither bore currenly allows, at any speed, with OLE). At the end of the works both lines will run through the "new" bore and the "old" one will become a cable tunnel. Also included in the works is a new footbridge near Kearsley and the complete reconstruction of Farnworth station. The will be no trains calling at Moses Gate, Farnworth or Kearsley for at least 20 weeks.

Other electrification taks such as track lowering, installation of OLE equipment and an "upgrade" to Moses Gate station will also happen.
What about Clifton?

Sadly, I get the feeling Northern may take the 'Norton Bridge' approach to Clifton, and use this work as an excuse to permanently close the station/provide a replacement bus service.:(
 

edwin_m

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I suspect that, given a pair of Midland Railway 12-wheel Pullman cars couldn't pass in the Up bore (built in 1838, when trains were tiny) then a pair of modern pantograph-be-decked behemoths stand no chance!

I was only thinking of one such behemoth!
 

Darren R

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I suspect that, given a pair of Midland Railway 12-wheel Pullman cars couldn't pass in the Up bore (built in 1838, when trains were tiny) then a pair of modern pantograph-be-decked behemoths stand no chance!

Not only were the trains smaller, but the original twin-track bore was larger than it currently is. By the time the route north to Hellifield was completed and the Midland planned to start running Pullman trains that way, the original Farnworth Tunnel was not only too small a bore for the larger carriages, but was also in need of repair. Therefore the current 'down' tunnel was dug alongside, and when that was brought into use the original tunnel had several additional layers of bricks added, reducing its size somewhat.
 

edwin_m

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A recent photo, not mine, here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/40011/16046016456/

I hope that enlarging one bore doesn't destabilise the other.

That photo suggests that the larger bore is still big enough for one track with OLE. So I guess the problem is actually how to accommodate a second track, and it has been decided that enlarging the larger bore is the easiest solution.

I do agree that the two look to be very close together and the old-maps link indicates that they don't diverge much if at all on the way through the hill.
 

snowball

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That photo suggests that the larger bore is still big enough for one track with OLE. So I guess the problem is actually how to accommodate a second track, and it has been decided that enlarging the larger bore is the easiest solution.

I do agree that the two look to be very close together and the old-maps link indicates that they don't diverge much if at all on the way through the hill.

The old-maps link suggests that the larger bore is not the same diameter all the way through. Maybe the additional brick lining mentioned in #20 was not needed everywhere.

Perhaps the new enlargement can be off-centre to keep away from the other bore?
 

fgwrich

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User "dimlys1994" has found this video about the Farnworth tunnel project and posted it on Skyscrapercity:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=84503534&v=w591AQh7DT8&x-yt-ts=1421914688

IThanks for finding that Video - It's interesting to see a TBM type of machine in use for this project. Incidentally, as there appears to be little above the tunnels (pictures of the tunnels that give it the appearance of a shallow tunnel), I wonder why opening it out into a long cutting and creating a bridge for the A Road wasn't considered?

I had to laugh at the first and only comment on the video too.

123trainmad4565 hours ago

Some of us prefer the old diesel trains one of the reasons they do this is for business owners or people who work for the government can get to work on time without trouble this investment will bring more money in and ruin our railways even more i don't or we don't want better high class trains they haven't got what the old DMUS have and i feel like one day there wont be people working on trains it will be all machines its okay doing this but people who do all this are just high class snobs who want the money

Completely contrary to the opinions in the North / South threads. :lol:
 
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