Major upgrade work due to commence in Blackpool
From 11 November 2017, the Great North Rail Project – part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan – is embarking on 19 weeks of work which will greatly affect travel to and from Blackpool. The major works planned is to transform the railway in the popular seaside town.
Network Rail will carry out vital upgrades to track and platforms at Blackpool North and Kirkham & Wesham stations. Upgrading to the signalling system on both lines to Blackpool will also take place which includes installing 84 new modern signals to help make journeys more reliable.
For Network Rail to do this work sections of the railway will need to close to Northern train services and buses will replace trains during the closures.
The upgrade forms part of the Great North Rail Project to improve journeys between Blackpool and Preston and across the north of England. When the upgrade is complete, Blackpool-to-Preston passengers will benefit from a cleaner, greener, quieter and more reliable railway.
Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s London North Western Route Managing Director, said: “The upgrade of the line between Preston and Blackpool is the largest rail investment in the area since the 19th century. It will enable greener, quieter and more reliable train services, providing passengers and Blackpool with a railway to be proud of.
“As Blackpool’s economy grows, the railway is growing too and we are working with the wider industry and our Blackpool region partners to keep the people of Blackpool and the Fylde on the move throughout the closure. There is never a good time to carry out this type of work but we have planned it to take place outside of the main holiday season so it causes the least impact.
“I am confident the short-term pain will certainly be worth the long-term gain of transformed train travel in future.”
Sharon Keith, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The upgrade of the line between Preston and Blackpool is a key phase of the modernisation of the railway in the north of England. The work will pave the way for further improvements for our customers who, in the future, will benefit from brand new or fully refurbished electric trains – resulting in better journeys and, thanks to further investment, better stations.”
Transport Minister Jesse Norman, said: “This vital upgrade is part of the government’s biggest investment in the network since Victorian times and will mean more seats, better connections, and more reliable journeys for rail passengers. We recognise there will be temporary disruption, but the benefits for passengers will be significant when complete. We are investing billions of pounds in transport across the region and I am delighted that this project is on track to deliver what passengers have told us they want to see.”