Major rail disruption between Preston and Blackpool as Bomb Squad called in

Trains between Preston and Blackpool were halted for more than six hours after a suspicious package was spotted trackside.

By Brian Ellis
Sunday, 10th July 2022, 7:16 pm

An Army bomb disposal team carried out a controlled explosion at Blackpool North station where an item was found close to platform 5.

Train operator Northern confirmed it was a “suspicious package” and the station was immediately evacuated. Police put a 100-metre cordon around the area, closing off several roads for safety reasons.

Talbot Road was blocked off from Devonshire Road to Cookson Street and the road blocks were also in place at Bickerstaffe Square.

Frustrated passengers and shoppers wait for news outside the station and the nearby Sainsbury's store.

The restrictions on Talbot Road have now been lifted for traffic and the station finally reopened at tea-time.

A bomb disposal robot was seen on one of the station’s platforms and passengers waiting outside the station said they heard a controlled explosion.

Scores of other passengers were reported to be stuck on trains outside the station for several hours, unable to disembark.

Services were still running between Preston and Blackpool South.

A bomb disposal team arrived at Blackpool North station (Image: Kirsty Daley).

A statement from Northern said: “Due to a security alert at a station between Blackpool North and Preston all lines are blocked.

"We will run services from Blackpool North as soon as the station is declared safe, sadly this has also affected Blackpool South as it is leaving staff and stock displaced."

Services to Blackpool affected are those from Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Airport, Hazel Grove and York.

Northern later said that due to the cordon around Blackpool North station the replacement bus services would leave from Dixon Road, outside Funny Girls.

Police threw a 100-metre exclusion zone around the station as bomb squad officers examined the package.

The cordon was finally lifted around 6pm, allowing services to resume.

British Transport Police have not revealed what the package contained.

A bomb disposal robot could be seen outside the station