Direct rail link from Burnley to Manchester opens

After millions of pounds invested and 10 years in the making, Burnley has a direct rail link to Manchester once again.

On Sunday, a train left Burnley’s new Manchester Road Station heading for the city for the first time in more than 40 years.

Just the ticket: The Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley, Coun. Andy Tatchell and Mrs Lorna Tatchell get ready to wave off the train to Manchester

Just the ticket: The Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley, Coun. Andy Tatchell and Mrs Lorna Tatchell get ready to wave off the train to Manchester

Northern are operating the historic service following Network Rail’s re-opening of the Todmorden Curve line which had been closed since 1972.

And this morning passengers joined in celebrations at both Burnley Manchester Road and Accrington to herald a new chapter in rail travel and hopefully a range of economic benefits for both towns.

Morning commuters were welcomed with hot drinks, muffins and goodie bags by teams from Northern, Burnley Council, the East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership and Lancashire County Council.

The scheme was part-funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This Government is committed to transforming rail services across the North of England as part of our ambitious plans to build a Northern Powerhouse.

The train arrives at Burnley's Manchester Road station

The train arrives at Burnley's Manchester Road station

“Todmorden Curve is an example of the significant investment being made in the region’s rail network, in order to provide more seats, more services and better journeys for passengers. It will make a real difference by opening up better access to job opportunities, helping to secure economic growth.”

Coun. Mark Townsend, Leader of Burnley Council, said: ‘‘We’re delighted to have a direct service to Manchester from Burnley once again. It will bring clear benefits to our economy in terms of access to the job market and establishing Burnley as a commuter town. It’s a real milestone in our continuing success story and one we wish to celebrate.”