Rebuilding of railway bridge over M62 to cause disruption to passengers and motorists

Date published: 22 March 2024

The railway link between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale is set to closed for more than a fortnight in September when work on rebuilding a crucial bridge in Castleton takes place.

Local passengers and motorists are already being urged to check before they travel in September as the rail and two full weekend's worth of motorway closures will be required to replace the 42m long, 2,000 tonne bridge.

The railway will be closed from Friday 6 to Tuesday 24 September between Manchester Victoria and Rochdale with rail replacement buses in operation for passengers.

The M62 will be closed over two weekends between J18 and J20:

  • The evening of Friday 6 September - early morning Monday 9 September
  • The evening of Friday 20 September - early morning Monday 23 September

Outside of the full road closure, the motorway will be reduced to three lanes and there will be nightly closures to support the work to the base of the bridge.

Network Rail is investing more than £20m in rebuilding the major Castleton Bridge that takes trains over the M62 near Rochdale.

The bridge was constructed in 1969 under an agreement between the British Railways Board and the Ministry of Transport for the construction of the M62 motorway.

Castleton Bridge carries the line which runs through Manchester Victoria Station, Rochdale, Littleborough, Todmorden and Hebden Bridge, and is located between Castleton and Mills Hill railway stations.

To complete the work, engineers need to dismantle the old bridge and take it away on the M62. The new bridge materials will be delivered by road and built on site.

Network Rail are working with National Highways to help road users understand what the work will mean for them.
Amy Williams, regional director at National Highways, said: “The collaboration between Network Rail and National Highways highlights our commitment to minimising disruption for both rail and road users during this essential project.

“We appreciate the understanding of passengers and motorists during this work and urge them to check travel plans for September 2024.

“National Highways is actively working with Network Rail to communicate the impact on road users and ensure a smooth process during this important upgrade, more information will be shared in the coming months.”

Castleton Bridge plays a crucial role in the safe journeys of around 3,000 rail freight services a year.
It carries 6% of the UK’s energy supply across the country, as freight trains carry material to and from Drax power station in Selby.

Plans were submitted last year by Network Rail to Rochdale Council to knock down bridge 48A.

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