Work starts on Burnley-Manchester direct rail link

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Work is underway to create a highly-anticipated direct rail link between Burnley and Manchester.

Network Rail is about to start clearing vegetation from the site in Cliviger, ahead of the reinstatement of the Todmorden Curve, a 300m section of track.

Work gets underway on the Todmorden Curve.

Work gets underway on the Todmorden Curve.

This work is ahead of a 20-week scheme to improve the Holme Tunnel, Holme Chapel. Until that part of the project is complete, the railway between Burnley Manchester Road and Todmorden will be closed between November 2013 and March 2014.

Ground movement around the tunnel has led to its lining becoming distorted and a 20mph speed limit is in place for trains running through it.

As well as strengthening sections of the tunnel, allowing the speed limit to be raised to 45mph, Network Rail will also lay new track, install better drainage and rebuild the badly damaged Todmorden Portal.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are about to undertake light vegetation clearance, a lot of the main vegetation clearance was completed last year, along with initial ground investigations.”