No, it’s not an April Fool: the new footbridge at Salford Crescent really did come into use on Monday 1st April 2013
Forget the Northern Hub: it’s specifically Salford which appears to be the centre of activity on our railways right now.
Progress on the electrification of the line between Manchester and Liverpool continues: the overhead gantries on Castlefield viaduct have, since the beginning of the year, had the first wires installed. Gantries and contact wires are now also on the Salford side of the river around Ordsall Lane, along with what appears to be work on a new electrical substation.
Around the same time as the first wires went up, a points failure early in the New Year led to timetable alterations, with many services unable to call at Salford Crescent and/or Salford Central. A broken diamond crossing was the cause, and delays in waiting for new parts to arrive meant that the temporary timetable was in place until Monday 18th February. Still, good news for the number 50 bus perhaps…?
…as was the derailment that took place on Wednesday 23rd January, just around the corner at Ordsall Lane junction. The locomotive at the rear of an empty charter train caught fire, and wasn’t cleared away until two days later. Cue more cancellations and diversions on routes to the north and west: fairly interesting viewing though. An investigation is ongoing.
The new footbridge runs parallel to The Crescent, with the ramp now removed from the old footbridge
Following an Easter weekend full of engineering alterations, the first steps in the upgrade to Salford Crescent station were taken—by the installation of the, ahem, first steps of the new footbridge (plus the demolition of the existing entrance ramp). The lift is yet to be installed, as is the new booking office at street level on The Crescent, but progress is certainly visible.