The equipment which will bring Blackpool’s rail link into the 21st century is taking shape in a pioneering new way.
A new factory is being used to assemble electrification equipment for the route meaning it can be installed on site in record time.
The facility, in Crewe, is pre-assembling much of the equipment which will be transported ready-made to the Fylde coast, hugely speeding up the installation process.
Network Rail has already begun installing foundations for the electrification equipment, with work progressing quickly along the branch.
Network Rail’s major programme director, Chris Montgomery, said: “This is a fantastic example of our supply chain working together to help deliver electrification more efficiently.
“This will play a vital role in the success of the Great North Rail Project, delivering better journeys for passengers between Preston and Blackpool.”
Volker Rail, the contractor for the Blackpool to Preston electrification is using a ‘just in time’ delivery process, meaning pre-assembled structures will be delivered to the site as and when they are needed.
The plant, operated by Unipart, is the third to be opened to assist the electrification of rail lines in the North West.
Work on the line between Blackpool and Preston is due to be completed next year.
The line will close for 19 weeks in November to allow Network Rail to carry out major engineering work at Kirkham and Blackpool.