Major track upgrade complete on Calder Valley line’s Summit Tunnel

Passengers will now have smoother and more reliable journeys between Manchester and Leeds after a major track upgrade inside one of the world’s oldest railway tunnels.

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 4:00 pm
Major track upgrade complete on Calder Valley line’s Summit Tunnel

Network Rail has replaced 3km of track between Littleborough and Walsden stations which includes the lines inside the 180-year-old Summit Tunnel.

The Calder Valley line reopened on Monday 1 November after a nine-day closure so work could take place as part of a £2m Great North Rail Project Investment.

During the full railway closure Network Rail also worked with the Environment Agency to upgrade a culvert beneath tracks as part of its large flood defence project*.

Karen Hornby, Network Rail’s North West head of performance and customer relationship, said: “I’d like to thank passengers and local people for their patience while we upgraded tracks between Littleborough and Todmorden as part of the Great North Rail Project. The work will mean fewer train delays for passengers on the Calder Valley line and means the tracks inside the Victorian-built structure are fit for the 21st century.

“We’re continuing our work in partnership with the Environment Agency to install a new culvert which will create a diversion for the Greenvale Brook beneath the railway.”

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “The improvements at Summit Tunnel are the latest in a huge programme of work being carried out by the rail industry to make journeys better for customers.

“The work carried out by Network Rail goes hand-in-hand with our own improvements to trains, stations and ticketing options, which are achieving our vision of making a positive impact for the North.”