A bus service will temporarily replace trains between Market Rasen and Grimsby/Cleethorpes until Monday January 11, as part of the line is closed while major improvement works are carried out.
A number of routes will be affected in Lincolnshire besides the Rasen to Grimsby route, and passengers are being urged to check before they travel. Route information can be found at www.networkrail.co.uk
The line closure is part of a £100m investment in the region’s railway as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
Towns in North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire and parts of Lincolnshire are set to benefit from a more reliable railway for passengers and help boost economic growth.
Following on from work started this summer, Network Rail will replace 100-year old signalling along 60 miles of track, upgrade 16 level crossings, build two new bridges and complete vital inspection work on dozens more, as well as carry out important maintenance work across the region.
Mark Tarry, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “This major upgrade of the railway has been two years in the planning with the support of the port, industry and local authorities. With the majority being carried out over Christmas – a relatively quiet time on the railway – ultimately we will reduce the amount of disruption caused.
“The result will be a state-of-the-art rail network that can not only cope with today’s passenger and freight numbers, but tomorrow’s too. We are creating a railway in this part of the country that passengers, customers and business can trust, and I would like to thank our neighbours and all others who will be impacted by this investment programme for their patience and understanding.”
In related news, North Lincolnshire Council has today (December 29) announced that it will start essential work to prop up the railway bridge over A18 Melton Ross on Monday January 4 with work due to be completed by mid-March 2016, making the bridge safe to be fully open to traffic.
A one-day road closure will be required towards the end of the works in March. Work will be carried out under the bridge during the daytime and won’t affect any trains.
The propping up of the bridge is only a temporary solution to the problem until a full replacement bridge is constructed and installed.
Councillor Neil Poole, cabinet member for Neighbourhoods at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “We apologise for the length of time traffic restrictions have been in place at the A18 Melton Ross Bridge.
“It was definitely not anticipated that it would take this long, but unfortunately it was taken out of our hands. A date has now been set for January though, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Once the propping up work has been carried out, we can reopen the bridge fully to all traffic. We will then look at designing and constructing a new bridge that will be a long-term solution to the problem, once funding has been secured. We won’t need to put traffic restrictions in place for this work, as the bridge will be installed next to the existing one.”
The council had to work alongside Network Rail to coordinate the works, as the bridge runs over one of their rail lines. This has caused a delay because of permission being given for January next year, rather than the first plan of October 2015.