Blackpool rail services hit by derailment

Firefighters at the scene after a train came off the rails and caught fire outside Manchester city centre
Firefighters at the scene after a train came off the rails and caught fire outside Manchester city centre

RAIL services between Blackpool and Manchester will be affected on Thursday after a train derailment left four people hurt.

The train came off the rails and caught fire, reports at the scene said.

Four people - a driver, engineer and two others - were on board the train and walked off safely after the incident outside Manchester city centre.

Fire crews were first called to the incident near Wilburn Street in Salford at 2.35pm. Around 40 firefighters were called to the incident.

The train is understood to have come off the tracks on the approach to the city centre.

First TransPennine Express is advising customers it is now “extremely unlikely” the line will be open for Thursday morning’s peak time services.

This includes services between Blackpool and Manchester Airport and Manchester Picadilly.

A First TransPennine spokesman told The Gazette: “Network Rail are on site but due to the damage caused and the level of work required we will not be able to provide a normal train service.

“We will aim to operate an hourly service between Manchester Victoria and Blackpool North.

“All services from and to the Lake District, Cumbria and Scotland will terminate / start at Preston.

“No trains will operate from Manchester Airport or Manchester Piccadilly to Bolton, Preston, Blackpool, the Lake District, Cumbria and Scotland.

“A very limited train service will operate between Manchester Victoria, Bolton and Preston. There will be a reduced capacity on all trains and services are expected to be extremely busy.”

A bus replacement service will remain in place between Manchester Airport, Manchester Piccadilly and Bolton.

Tickets will be accepted by all operators and Manchester Metrolink will convey passengers between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria.

The spokesman added: “We appreciate the inconvenience this derailment will cause and we would ask that customers allow additional time to complete there journey. Journey details can be checked at www.nationalrail.co.ukor by calling 08457 484950.

“There is currently no estimate when the line will be re-opened.”