Blackpool to Preston railway line work will be ‘worth pain’ says rail chief

Top right: Blackpool Norths number 2 signal box, dating from 1896, is demolished Pic: @TheGNRP Bottom right: Platforms are demolished at Blackpool North Left: Workers remove tracks
Top right: Blackpool Norths number 2 signal box, dating from 1896, is demolished Pic: @TheGNRP Bottom right: Platforms are demolished at Blackpool North Left: Workers remove tracks

Platforms have been demolished and tracks removed in the first week of work to upgrade the Blackpool to Preston railway line.

The platforms at Blackpool North station have been removed to make way for an improved layout.

Five signal boxes have been decommissioned and work has started on building a new platform at Kirkham and Wesham station.

And, despite complaints of late-running replacement bus services, rail bosses claim the eventual improvements due to the 19-week project will make the ‘pain’ worthwhile.

Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s London North Western route managing director, said: “I am confident the short-term pain will be worth the long-term gain of transformed train travel in future.”

Work will continue around the clock to install overhead power lines so electric trains can run.

Over the remaining 18 weeks, the signalling on both lines into Blackpool will be upgraded.

This includes installing 84 new signals to make journeys “more reliable”.

The railway will be completely closed between Preston and Blackpool North and Blackpool South stations until January 28.

Between January 29, 2018 and Sunday March 28, 2018 the railway between Preston and Blackpool South will reopen but the railway between Kirkham & Wesham and Blackpool North will remain closed.

Work so far

In the last week...

· Tracks have been removed and platforms demolished at Blackpool North station

· Five signal boxes have been decommissioned

· Work has started on building a new platform at Kirkham and Wesham station and improving drainage

· Round-the-clock work has started to install overhead power lines so electric trains can run along the route to support the upgrade