Tuesday 15 May 2018
Historic milestone as first ever electric train runs into Blackpool
- London North Western
An electric train has travelled to and from Blackpool for the first time ever as the transformation of the railway in the north continues.
As part of the Great North Railway Project, the Pendolino, operated by Virgin Trains, was used to test the new infrastructure last night (Monday 14 May) along the 17 mile route between Blackpool North and from Preston ahead of Sunday’s timetable change.
The new timetable will see train operators Northern and Virgin Trains introduce greener, quieter and more reliable trains to and from Blackpool.
The train travelled from Preston to Blackpool North and back under the supervision of Network Rail’s Team Orange engineers who were on hand to check and inspect the route’s new overhead equipment.
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “The successful testing of the newly electrified railway is the latest step to provide customers with a better, more reliable railway.
“The Great North Rail Project is transforming rail travel across the north of England and passengers are now in touching distance of better journeys between Preston and Blackpool.”
Michael Stewart, General Manager at Virgin Trains on the west coast, said: “We’re really excited to have reached this landmark by welcoming our Pendolino train to Blackpool North. This will allow us to test the infrastructure, as we prepare to launch our new electric services to and from the resort next Monday."
In the last 18 months Team Orange has installed over 1,000 steel structures and 200,000 metres of electric wires, as well as replacing every moving part on the railway between Preston and Blackpool North. A new and improved track layout, modern signalling system and electrification mean that passengers in Lancashire are set to benefit from better journeys on the Fylde Coast.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.