It was all misery for passengers when it was announced by Network Rail on May 2016 that the Chorley train lines would remain closed for renovations and upgrading. The Railway management saw it fit to upgrade to electric lines, to improve on passenger travel times. The announcement of the temporary closure did not go down well with train passengers, as they saw it as an interruption to their travel arrangements. Initially, the project was to last for only a few months until the end of December 2017, but according to Network Rail, the project will run until May 2018. Commuters will now have to make necessary travel arrangement to avoid any inconveniences.
These upgrades coincides with Lindsay Hoyles recent discussion to make the new platform accessible for disabled access. Something not currently listed in the new schemes plans.
The Chorley train lines link Lancashire passengers to Preston, Manchester and Bolton. Although the train lines have been serving commuters well over the years, slow travel times and delays have always been an issue. In 2009, the Department of Transport announced an ambitious £1b plan to electrify all train lines within the UK including Chorley train lines. The implementation of this plan has led to temporary closure of train lines and has affected early morning and late evening train services. During the upgrade process, weekend train services from Preston to Manchester will be diverted at Wigan. However, bus replacements are available to transport commuters transiting between Bolton and Preston.
Despite the uproar, commuters stand to benefit from upgraded train lines. They will not only enjoy faster travel times but also witness an increase in train services. In fact, the upgrade process also includes refurbishing the amenities at Chorley Railway Station. The station will have two new platforms for passengers travelling to Preston and Manchester, respectively. Additionally, the roofs over the subways will undergo replacing and an elevator installed for persons with disabilities. Contrary to what most commuters believe, the upgrade process will be in phases, meaning the closure will only be temporary.