Rail service investment on the right track

Ease of travel and direct routes is the result of a stretch of rail track

In less than four years, the improved rail service between Burnley, Accrington and Manchester has paid off in terms of increased job opportunities and an improvement in the visitor economy.

The Todmorden Curve, a 500-metre stretch of rail track, was completed in 2014 and has not only improved journey times but also proved to be a vital catalyst to economic growth by putting Burnley and Accrington within easy commuting time of Manchester. The multi-million pound investment – developed through a partnership between Northern, Burnley Council, Network Rail and Lancashire County Council – has made it easier to travel by train between East Lancashire and Manchester.

The faster, direct service from Burnley Manchester Road to Manchester Victoria allows travellers to be in the city in just 52 minutes, while the service from Accrington to Manchester Victoria takes only 63 minutes.

Other improvements on the Northern network will include a 40 per cent increase in its passenger capacity, creating space for 31,000 extra passengers travelling into Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle during the morning rush-hour by 2020.

Travelling by rail means commuters can travel in comfort and beat the stress of driving into Manchester city centre, especially if they take advantage of the convenience and financial benefit of using a season ticket.

Meanwhile, leisure travellers can take full advantage of the greater connections and have a day out; visiting the shops, taking in the sites of the city, or meeting up with friends and family using a great value Off-Peak fare or Duo, which offers a 25 per cent saving on the cost of a ticket when two adults travel together. Improved ticketing, including mobile and print-at-home tickets and discounted fares for jobseekers has made the process even easier for passengers.

Liam Sumpter, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The service is proving an excellent way for our customers in Burnley and Accrington to get into Manchester, whether that’s for business or pleasure. At just under an hour from Burnley, getting into the city for a day’s work, or just for a meeting, is much easier than driving into the city and then finding and paying for parking.

“In addition, customers can use the Todmorden Curve to link with Manchester for connection to longer distance locations such as London, Birmingham and Glasgow, and, of course, for the airport.”

Tickets can be booked through www.northernrailway.co.uk/direct which offers savings on booking and credit card fees, while the website also includes more information about journey times and prices and ticketing options.