Next stage of work to upgrade the railway in Lancashire starts in the New Year: Blackpool North station November 2016

Tuesday 29 Nov 2016

Next stage of work to upgrade the railway in Lancashire starts in the New Year

Route:
London North Western

Passengers are being advised to plan their journeys in advance as the next phase of the major work to upgrade the line between Preston and Blackpool gets under way in January.

Passengers are being advised to plan their journeys in advance as the next phase of the major work to upgrade the line between Preston and Blackpool gets under way in January.

The Northern Programmes project, part a £1bn+ investment across the north has already delivered the electrification of the line linking Wigan with Manchester and Liverpool, allowing extra services to run and boosting train capacity. The next phase will upgrade the track and improve drainage on the line between Poulton-Le –Fylde and Salwick. Work will also be carried out to prepare the line for electrification.

To deliver this major upgrade there will alterations to train services for ten weekends from 21 January 2017. This means that buses will replace trains between Preston and both Blackpool North and Blackpool South stations. Passengers are advised to plan ahead and to check before travelling.

Alison Rowley, programme manager for Network Rail said: “We are working closely with Northern to minimise the disruption to passengers and raise awareness of these changes to weekend train services between Preston and Blackpool.

“The upgrade and wider investment will result in a better and more reliable railway that will serve passengers for many decades to come and help boost the economy across the north of England.

“We understand that this work also affects our lineside neighbours and have hosted a number of meetings to discuss our upgrade plan– recently in Poulton and Preston. Our next events are:

  • Friday 2 December at Kirkham Community Centre 4pm-7pm
  • Thursday 8 December at Lund Vicarage, Salwick 4pm-7pm
  • Thursday 15 December at Blackpool Central Library 4pm-7pm

“There is never a good time to affect journeys but we have planned the work to affect the least amount of passengers for the shortest amount of time. This is essential work and I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their understanding.” 

Sharon Keith, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The upgrade between Preston and Blackpool is a vital part of the plans to modernise the service we offer to our customers.

“We have pledged to refurbish our trains, phase out the Pacers and introduce 281 new, purpose built carriages across the network, and are committed to delivering these improvements to give rail travellers in the north the 21st Century service they have been calling for.

“But our improvements will only have the desired impact if they are supported by infrastructure modernisation, and the 10 weeks of work, carried out by Network Rai at weekends to keep disruption to a minimum, is absolutely crucial.”

The work will allow electric train services to run between Preston and Blackpool North from May 2018.

The full upgrade will see tracks into Blackpool, Kirkham and Wesham remodelled and major changes to platforms. The changes to track, signaling and the platforms will allow trains to run more efficiently and reduce delays, providing a better services for passengers.

Further work, which will require the closure of the railway, will take place in late 2017 in order to complete this important upgrade.

For more information and advice on how to plan your journey, go to www.nationalrail.co.uk

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Media Relations (London North Western route)
0330 854 0100
mediarelations@networkrail.co.uk

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 36,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.