Burnley Council is working with public sector partners and Network Rail to re-open the 500 metres of track, known as the ‘Todmorden Curve’ linking Burnley with Manchester City Centre. The project entails the reinstatement of a piece of track bordering the town of Todmorden which will allow trains from Burnley to link directly to the line into Manchester. The reopening of the route will mean that commuters won’t have to change trains or use bus services, all of which take over an hour.
The reinstatement of the track will halve train travel time from Burnley to Manchester to a commutable 45 minutes, allowing passengers to start their journeys at the newly refurbished Manchester Road Station and alight at Manchester Victoria. The success of the Todmorden Curve will connect the commercial and residential property markets of Burnley and Manchester, allowing the people of Burnley to access jobs in Manchester’s growing economy and open up the Pennine Lancashire countryside for visitors from the city.
The proximity of the Weavers’ Triangle to Manchester Road station will ensure that, once reopened, the Todmorden Curve will unlock the potential for up to 1000 jobs to be created through the redevelopment of the 3.9 hectare site for leisure, office and educational uses.
The Deputy Prime Minister has backed the project with an investment of £8.8 million Regional Growth Fund for the re-instatement of the Todmorden Curve rail link and redevelopment of the Weavers’ Triangle in Burnley.
Network Rail is progressing the project through its management and control process, meaning that the Todmorden Curve could be complete by Spring 2014.
Manchester Rd Station
Burnley Council in partnership with Lancashire County Council, the East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership, Northern Rail and Network Rail is redeveloping the station in advance of the implementation of the Todmorden Curve railway improvements, which will see travel times to Manchester cut from 1 hour and 45 minutes to 53 minutes. These improvements are likely to see a strong increase in passenger numbers at the station, which is already Burnley’s busiest station.
Burnley Manchester Road Station was originally built in the current location in 1886 as one of Burnley’s main railway stations. The station was closed on 6 November 1961, and then subsequently re-opened nearly 25 years later, on 29 September 1986. By the time it was re-opened, the station building, the majority of which still exists, had been sold out of railway use for use as a dairy storage and distribution facility.
The site has now been purchased by Burnley Council and Lancashire County Council in November 2011 with the aim of creating an operational railway station building. Works to date have seen the majority of the buildings on the site cleared, along with much of the vegetation, leaving the former station building as the only building left standing.
Proposals for the redevelopment of the station, due for completion in early 2013, include:
A new railway station building;
Introducing manned ticket facilities;
New canopies for the station building;
New platform waiting shelters to both platform 1 & 2;
A community facility for use by the East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership and the Northern Rail Community Ambassadors
Improved entrance for pedestrian use of Manchester Road;
New car parking to provide 50 spaces and 4 new DDA parking spaces; and
- New cycle parking provision.