Giant crane gets Blackpool on track for railway of the future

Engineers laying track at Blackpool
Engineers laying track at Blackpool

A giant crane has been brought in to put Blackpool on track for a better railway future.

The huge Kirow machine has been helping ley track on the route to Blackpool North station as electrification, track and platform changes are being carried out on the line.

Buses are being used to replace trains as the Preston to Blackpool North line is closed until March 25 next year. The Blackpool south line is due to re-open on January 29.

Huge slabs of new track have been brought to Blackpool and Network Rail engineers lifted the panels into place, slotting in another jigsaw piece of the Preston to Blackpool upgrade.

Another special train was used to transport pre-assembled pieces of track and points to Blackpool.

Lawrence Cheung, Network Rail sponsor said: “As part of the Great North Rail Project, we are upgrading the Preston to Blackpool North line to provide a cleaner, greener, quieter and more reliable train service.

At Blackpool North station, we are remodelling the platforms and have used a ‘long-armed concrete pump’, which allows us to lay the foundations for the 1,280 pre-cast concrete blocks that will form the base of the new platforms.

"The work is progressing well and is in preparation for new track which will be laid over Christmas and the New Year.”

A series of meetings are being held to keep people up to date with the work and issues arising from the disruption. The next two will be on Wednesday from 4pm to 7pm at Kirkham Community Centre, in Mill Street and on January 4, from 2pm to 6pm at Blackpool North station.