20 weeks of rail disruption to repair damaged tunnel

Holme Tunnel
Holme Tunnel

Rail users in the upper Calder Valley will face five months of disruption as part of a project to repair a tunnel on a major route.

Network Rail needs to carry out a programme of work to repair and strengthen the 250 metre long Holme Tunnel, resulting in the closure of the line between Todmorden and Burnley Manchester Road for 20 weeks between November and March.

Movement of the ground around the tunnel has led to the tunnel lining becoming severely distorted.

A 20mph speed restriction is currently in place for trains running through the tunnel.

The project will also include laying new track, installing improved drainage and re-building the severely damaged Todmorden end of the tunnel.

Rhiannon Price, project manager, said: “The work planned for Holme Tunnel will speed up joruneys on this part of the railway and provide a more reliable railway for local people.”

The main tunnel blockade will run from November 9 until March 30, during which time a replacement bus service will operate between Burnley Manchester Road and Todmorden, and Burnley Manchester Road and Hebden Bridge.

Calder ward councillor Janet Battye is asking for work on re-instating the Todmorden Curve to be completed at the same time.