Ten weekends of rail line closures ahead as vision revealed

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The railway between Preston and Blackpool will be closed for 10 weekends starting in January

Network Rail is advising passengers to plan their journeys well in advance with both the Blackpool North and Blackpool South branches set to shut.

The railway between Blackpool and Preston is being upgraded

The railway between Blackpool and Preston is being upgraded

The first closure will take place on January 21 with buses replacing trains across the weekend.

Work is being carried out to improve drainage and track between Poulton and Salwick. Preparation work for the electrification of the line will also take place.

Network Rail today unveiled a video detailing the works taking place along the line and how stations along the route will be improved.

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.

“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 Rail at weekends to keep disruption to a minimum, is absolutely crucial.”

Network Rail will host community events on Friday December 2 at Kirkham Community Centre, on Thursday December 8 at Lund Vicarage in Salwick and on Thursday December 15 a t Blackpool Central Library.

All events will run from 4pm to 7pm.