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Bolton to Wigan railway electrification work on pause after contractor stops trading


Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd revealed its intention to appoint administrators in a statement last week and it stopped trading at the same time.

The construction company is responsible for the work on a number of schemes, including the electrification of a 6.5-mile stretch of the railway line between Bolton and Wigan, announced by the then-Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris two years ago and scheduled to end in 2025. It is to allow for the replacement of diesel trains by electric trains.

Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd said the reason for its intention to appoint administrators was losses on other schemes, including Anfield Stadium in Liverpool and Sixfields Stadium in Northampton, caused by challenges such as the increase in inflation.

A statement said: “As a result of the challenges, the board filed a Notice of Intention to appoint administrators to protect the business whilst we explore a sale of all or part of the business in a short period (days/weeks).”

The Bolton to Wigan electrification scheme involves the addition of lines to carry 25,000 of electricity as well as the alteration of bridges and crossings to allow for the installation of these lines. It affects railway stations inside the borough such as Lostock and Westhoughton and railway stations outside the borough such as Hindley and Ince.

However, it is on pause for the foreseeable until the future of Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd is decided, according to Network Rail.

A spokesperson said: “We are assessing the impact on the Bolton to Wigan electrification scheme after the contractor Buckingham Group announced it was appointing administrators last week. All work is paused while the future of the firm is decided. In the meantime Network Rail is drawing up contingency plans on how projects can progress based on the possible outcomes of the administration process.”

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.


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