CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Developing The South Fylde Line Bid Success

The South Fylde Line CRP is pleased to be able to announce that it has been successful in a bid for funds to support the production of a Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) to help develop the capacity on the South Fylde Line between Preston and Blackpool South.

Ansdell & Fairhaven station on the occasion of the Open Golf Tournament – Paul Nettleton

This is the second stage of the project following the success of local MPs Mark Menzies and Scott Benton application to the Government’s Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund. This grant from the DfT’s Community Rail Development Fund (CRDF) will be used to support project leaders Fylde Council in commissioning two studies as follows:

+  The SOBC with a focus on the strategic and economic cases for the proposed service improvements. This will be undertaken by consultants who will be commissioned by FBC and managed through the Project Steering Group of which Community Rail Lancashire is a member. Further detail about the SOBC is set out below; and

+  A capacity analysis that will be undertaken by Network Rail. This piece of work will feed into the SOBC and will determine the feasibility of the options being looked at so far as the network is concerned and identify any constraints that might need to be addressed through for example additional capacity at Preston station to accommodate an improved service.

Richard Watts, Chair of CRL in welcoming the grant commented: “This is great news for the South Fylde Line. Singling the line in the 1980s was a big mistake and this project seeks to look at how this can be reversed through the provision of an improved rail service. Community Rail Lancashire and the South Fylde Line CRP welcome this grant which will contribute to the study being carried out by consultants Stantec for Fylde Council as part of the Government’s Restoring Your Railway initiative. The line is an underused asset which, if properly developed, can contribute to the Government’s decarbonisation agenda, help the economic recovery of the Fylde coastal area following the pandemic and play a much greater part in the lives of the people who live in the communities along the line. This is a great opportunity to put right an earlier mistake”

Tony Ford, Chair of the South Fylde CRP said: “The campaign to increase the frequency of services on the South Fylde Line has been going on for many years and this grant will contribute to the current feasibility study which will build a successful case for the installation of a passing loop to allow a doubling of services. Allowing trains to pass each other will give local rail users and the thousands of tourists who use the route two trains an hour instead of the current hourly service.”

“The South Fylde Line Community Rail Partnership, Community Rail Lancashire and the Blackpool and Fylde Rail User Group should be rightly proud of their continuing campaign to deliver a 21st-century railway for the benefit of all. This award is fantastic news and comes on the back of other positive media stories about the South Fylde Line, its stations and the many volunteers who work tirelessly to create a rail line with facilities to be proud of.”

See also the earlier news item regarding the initial success of the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund here:


The Community Rail Development Fund, is a pot of money provided by the Department for Transport and managed by the Community Rail Network. The funds are available for accredited CRPs to help with their projects.