THE FIRST electric passenger services operated on the route between Manchester and Preston via Bolton on Monday 11 February. The first southbound working was the 05.23 Blackpool North to Manchester Piccadilly, worked by unit No 319368. The first northbound was the 06.59 Manchester Piccadilly to Preston worked by No 319365.
The first passenger service over the route and then over the section through Salford Central into Manchester Victoria was the 06.34 from Blackpool North worked by No 319361, which was also the set working the first train from Victoria northbound, on the 08.05 to Buckshaw Parkway.
Network Rail confirmed substantial completion of the much-delayed electrification project in December 2018, and final testing has now cleared the way for electric services to carry passengers. Tony Miles