Rail passengers face disruption on the Chester-Wrexham line later this week as a delayed upgrade to cut journey times and increase train services enters its final stage.
Five miles of track line is being doubled between Rossett Junction and Saltney Junction, with the aim of getting more trains running between the two points with increased speeds of up to 90mph in sections.
Network Rail Wales says the final stage of the work will begin this Friday (March 24).
It is part of the North/South Wales Enhancement project which will unlock the potential for more frequent services and shorter journey times between Cardiff and Holyhead – subject to additional fleet and limited-stop services in the future.
Passengers travelling between Wrexham and Chester and from North Wales to Chester will be affected by the disruption.
A rail replacement bus services will be in operation as follows:
■ 9pm Friday, March 24, to 11.35pm Saturday, March 25 – Chester to Rhyl
■ 11.35pm Saturday, March 25, to 3.55am Monday, March 27 – Chester to Llandudno Junction
■ 9pm Friday, March 24, to 5.10am Saturday, April 1 – Chester to Wrexham
With work at Broad Oak and Balderton level crossings under way and due to be complete by Friday, March 24, work will also take place on two other level crossings in the area from Saturday, March 25, to Saturday, April 14.
Upgrade work on Green Lane and Pulford level crossings will see them benefit from safer, state-of-the-art obstacle detection systems. The crossings will be closed to pedestrians and road users while the upgrade work takes place, with diversionary routes in place.
But the project, costing nearly £40m, was scheduled to be completed by early 2015.
Francis McGarry, route delivery director for Network Rail Wales, said: “We are pleased to be delivering the final phase of the North/South Wales Enhancement project, which will unlock the potential for faster and more frequent services between Holyhead and Cardiff.
“The work will also provide greater resilience and reliability on the railway, all part of our Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger and better railway for the growing number of passengers.
“With four level crossings set to be upgraded in the area, I would like to thank road and rail users for bearing with us whilst this improvement work takes place.
“We are working closely with our partners Arriva Trains Wales, who are providing a rail replacement bus service for passengers during this essential railway upgrade work.”
Network Rail will also be delivering work between Wrexham and Bidston on Sunday, March 26. Passengers are reminded to check before they travel as some services may be affected.
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