Network Rail’s work to electrify the railway between Preston and Blackpool North will begin next month from Monday 3rd October 2016.
This work forms part of a £1bn+ investment to improve the railway infrastructure, so that new electric trains can be introduced between Manchester and Blackpool via Preston.
Most crucially, once this work is completed, passengers travelling on the line from Blackpool to Preston and Manchester, and vice-versa, will benefit from better, greener, quieter and more reliable journeys. The improvements will also serve passengers for many decades to come and help boost the economy across the north of England.
Over the course of the upgrade until the electrified railway opens in May 2018:
+ Seven miles of railway track will be replaced;
+ The track layout and signalling equipment will be improved to increase the reliability of the railway in and out of Blackpool;
+ Platforms at Blackpool North, Kirkham and Wesham stations will be remodelled; and
+ Layouts of the track and platforms will be simplified to allow trains to run more efficiently, reducing delays and providing better passenger journeys.
Changes to passenger services
Ultimately, there is never a good time to affect journeys, but we have planned the work to affect the fewest number of passengers for the shortest amount of time. This is essential work and we’d like to thank passengers in advance for their understanding.
While this improvement work is being delivered, there will be changes to early morning and late evening services between Preston and Blackpool every week from 3 October until spring 2018:
In the mornings bus replacement services will be in operation until the 05.39 train from Blackpool (Tuesday – Friday).
In the evenings bus replacement services will be in operation after the 22.45 train from Blackpool and the 22.19 train service from Preston (Monday – Thursday).
+ From Tuesday 4 October a rail replacement service from Blackpool North – Preston will be in place for the 05:21 Blackpool North – London Euston service every Tuesday – Friday until Friday, 9 December 2016.
+ The rail replacement service will depart from Blackpool North at 04:57, calling at Poulton-Le-Fylde and Kirkham & Wesham before arriving into Preston at 05:52.
+ The 06:00 service from Preston will arrive into London Euston at 08:34 – the same time as the direct Blackpool service is scheduled to arrive.
+ The 16:33 London Euston – Blackpool North service will operate as normal.
During this period, passengers are being urged to plan their journeys and check before they travel by visiting www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Further closures on the route will be required in 2017, including a series of weekend closures early next year. More details around these closures will be communicated later in the year.