Ten weekends of rail line closures ahead as rail line vision revealed

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

Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 11:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:41 pm
The railway between Blackpool and Preston is being upgraded

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 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.

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The railway between Blackpool and Preston is being upgraded

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.

The railway between Blackpool and Preston is being upgraded

“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.

Friday 2 December at Kirkham Community Centre 4pm-7pm

Thursday 8 December at Lund Vicarage, Salwick 4pm-7pm

Thursday 15 December at Blackpool Central Library 4pm-7pmMay 2018.

The full upgrade will see tracks into Blackpool, Kirkham and Wesham remodelled and major changes to platforms. The changes to track, signaling and the platforms will allow trains to run more efficiently and reduce delays, providing a better services for passengers.

Further work, which will require the closure of the railway, will take place in late 2017 in order to complete this important upgrade.

The line between Blackpool and Preston is expected to shut completely for 18 weeks, starting in November 2017.

The full electrification of the line is expected to be completed by May 2018