One of Oldham’s only railway stations has reopened after it was closed for weeks of upgrade works.

A consecutive closure of 26 days came to an end on Thursday, April 6 – when trains finally started to run again.

The first train to arrive at the station was the 06:22 service to Huddersfield, which departed from the station six minutes late.

During the works, a trip between Greenfield and Manchester Piccadilly increased from a scheduled duration of 25 minutes by train to 43 minutes by bus – though some passengers posting on social media complained of trip times of more than 90 minutes.

However, passengers aren’t out of the woods yet – with further disruption meaning replacement bus services are scheduled for each remaining weekend of April, and one weekend in May.

Rail bosses said the Transpennine Route Upgrade continues to build towards the future of electric rail travel in the North.

Work completed included a full junction remodelling, with more than 2 km (1.2 miles) of new track and 23 new signals, upgrading 13 crossovers and fitting new overhead line equipment for future electrification work.

Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “Our multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade will transform our railways for generations to come and this major piece of work at Stalybridge station is just another way we’re investing to improve rail in the North. 

“These vital works will support economic growth, connect communities and deliver faster, greener and more reliable services across the region.”

Hannah Lomas, Industry Programme Director for Transpennine Route Upgrade, said: “We'd like to say a big "thank you" to passengers for bearing with us while we did this work; it means that trains will be able to move through Stalybridge station faster and more reliably.  

“This is just one component of the wider Transpennine Route Upgrade, which will electrify the whole route between Manchester and York via Huddersfield and Leeds, bringing the line into the 21st century with 70 miles of fully electric, digital railway.”

Rob Warnes, Strategic Development Director for Northern, said: “We're really grateful to all of our customers for their patience throughout this 26-day closure of the line between Manchester and Stalybridge.

“The work that has taken place will allow us to run electric trains to Stalybridge in the near future, meaning faster, greener and more reliable trains for everybody.”

Additional follow-up work will also take place at Stalybridge on 15/16 April, 22/23 April, 29/30 April and 20/21 May, with replacement bus services running from Greenfield on these dates.

The Oldham Times: Works meant passengers had to use replacement buses for 26 consecutive daysWorks meant passengers had to use replacement buses for 26 consecutive days (Image: Network Rail)

Chris Nutton, Major Projects Director for TransPennine Express, said: “Completing the 26-day upgrade work at Stalybridge is a fantastic achievement for the cross-industry teams who have worked tirelessly to deliver this important work. 

“It takes us another step closer towards this once-in-a-generation rail project which will enable more frequent trains between Manchester and York – running on a cleaner, greener, more reliable railway.  

“We’d like to thank customers for their patience and cooperation during the work.

“Follow-up work at Stalybridge continues during the weekends up until May; customers are therefore reminded to check the latest changes to our services before they travel on our website.”