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Direct rail link between Manchester and Burnley opens after £10M investment

300m stretch of track opened to commuters on Monday.

A new section of railway that provides a direct link between Manchester and Burnley has opened for the first time in more than 40 years. The first service to use the track was Northern Rail’s 0818 from Blackburn on Monday.

Called the Todmorden Curve, the new 300m long section reopened following work costing £10M. The funding was from Burnley Borough Council, Network Rail and Lancashire County Council. The rail links the lines from Preston to Hebden Bridge and Manchester Victoria to Leeds, eliminating the need for passengers to change.

Todmorden Curve, Network Rail

Source: Network Rail

One of the first trains to use the completed Todmorden Curve

Network Rail area director Terry Strickland said: “The reopened Todmorden Curve is a significant improvement to the railway in this part of the country and will allow services to run directly between Manchester Victoria and Burnley Manchester Road for the first time in decades.”

Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport Cllr John Fillis said: “It is a fantastic achievement by everyone involved to re-establish the direct service from Burnley to Manchester which will extend opportunities for local people and have a real impact on the economy. It shows what can be achieved when partner organisations are clear about their priorities and work closely together to deliver them. The working relationships established will be instrumental in the ongoing transformation of rail services in East Lancashire.”

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