Rail service changes are a ‘loss’ to resort

Train at Blackpool North station
Train at Blackpool North station
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Rail campaigners have called temporary plans to reduce direct services between Blackpool and Liverpool a ‘loss’ to the resort.

From October 5, direct services between Liverpool Lime Street and Blackpool will be reduced as the rail line between Preston and the resort has not yet been electrified.

Paul Nettleton

Paul Nettleton

Instead, passengers travelling between the Fylde coast and Merseyside will have to change at Preston to make the next leg of their journey.

Paul Nettleton, of the Blackpool and Fylde Rail Users’ Association, said it was a short-term blow – but expected the service to return when electrification of the Blackpool North line is complete.

He added: “It is a loss for the time being but the service will come back.

“We will get one or two disruptions but there is no gain without a little pain.”

Last month, contractor Balfour Beatty pulled out of plans to electrify the railway line between Preston and Blackpool.
Network Rail insisted the electrification was still due to finish by spring 2017 and a new contractor would be “appointed shortly”.

In an application submitted to the Office for Rail Regulation, Liz Hudson, of Northern Rail said: “Northern wish to amend the access rights to reflect the changes of our service structure between Liverpool and Blackpool.

“As the line between Preston and Blackpool is not yet electrified the current Liverpool – Blackpool North services will need to be curtailed at Preston to enable electric multiple units to operate the services.”