OREANDA-NEWS.  Passengers are being urged to plan their journeys and check before they travel as the work means changes to early morning and late evening services between Preston and Blackpool, from 3 October 2016. These changes will be in place until May 2018.

In the mornings bus replacement services will be in operation until the 05.39 train from Blackpool (Tuesday – Friday).

In the evenings bus replacement services will be in operation after the 22.45 train from Blackpool and the 22.19 train service from Preston (Monday – Thursday).

  • From Tuesday 4 October a rail replacement service from Blackpool North – Preston will be in place for the 05:21 Blackpool North – London Euston service every Tuesday – Friday until Friday, 9 December 2016.
  • The rail replacement service will depart from Blackpool North at 04:57, calling at Poulton-Le-Fylde and Kirkham & Wesham before arriving into Preston at 05:52.
  • The 06:00 service from Preston will arrive into London Euston at 08:34 – the same time as the direct Blackpool service is scheduled to arrive.
  • The 16:33 London Euston – Blackpool North service will operate as normal.

Alison Rowley, programme manager for Network Rail said: “We are working closely with Northern and Virgin Trains to minimise the disruption to passengers and raise awareness of these changes to morning and evening train services between Preston and Blackpool.

“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.

“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.”

Sharon Keith, Regional Director for Northern said: “This essential upgrade of the route between Preston and Blackpool is key to help us develop better journeys for our customers. Our advice is to remind customers to check before they travel and we’d like to thank customers in advance for their patience while we work together to improve services.”

Phil Bearpark, Executive Director of Operations & Projects at Virgin Trains on the West Coast, said: “From October 2016, Network Rail is carrying out work to upgrade the railway between Blackpool and Preston. Virgin Trains customers who are travelling from Blackpool to Preston on the early morning service are advised to check for information on the National Rail website when planning their journey. We have worked closely with Network Rail and industry partners to ensure alternative travel arrangements are in place and to keep disruption to a minimum, whilst work takes place.”

Over the course of the upgrade until the electrified railway opens in May 2018, over seven miles of railway track will be replaced and improvements to the track layout and signalling equipment be made to increase the reliability of the railway in and out of Blackpool. Blackpool North and Kirkham and Wesham stations will be remodelled meaning that major platform work needs to take place. Simplified track and platform layouts along the route will allow trains to run more efficiently, reducing delays and providing better passenger journeys.

Further closures on the route will be required in 2017, including a series of weekend closures early next year. More details around these closures will be communicated later in the year.