Rail passengers should brace themselves for months of rail replacement bus services between Preston and Blackpool.Advertisement
Upgrades on the Preston to Blackpool line will take several months to complete and have been dubbed the largest rail investment in the area since the 19th century.
It will also see a bus service replace rail travel between the two areas for a significant period of time.
The railway between Preston and Blackpool North and Blackpool South will be completely closed between November 11 and January 28.
The Preston to Blackpool South train will then resume but the railway between Kirkham & Wesham and Blackpool North will remain closed until March 26.
The upgrades will see improved platforms, tracks and modern signalling with the aim of improving the reliability of journeys.
Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s London North Western route managing director, said: “The upgrade of the line between Preston and Blackpool is the largest rail investment in the area since the 19th century. It will enable greener, quieter and more reliable train services, providing passengers and Blackpool with a railway to be proud of.
“As Blackpool’s economy grows, the railway is growing too and we are working with the wider industry and our Blackpool region partners to keep the people of Blackpool and the Fylde on the move throughout the closure. There is never a good time to carry out this type of work but we have planned it to take place outside of the main holiday season so it causes the least impact.
More: Date for when Preston to Manchester disruption will end
“I am confident the short-term pain will certainly be worth the long-term gain of transformed train travel in future.”
Sharon Keith, regional director at Northern, said: “The upgrade of the line between Preston and Blackpool is a key phase of the modernisation of the railway in the north of England.
“The work will pave the way for further improvements for our customers who, in the future, will benefit from brand new or fully refurbished electric trains – resulting in better journeys and, thanks to further investment, better stations.
“I’d like to thank our customers in advance for their understanding and patience whilst this essential work takes place.”
Jesse Norman, Transport Minister, said: “This vital upgrade is part of the government’s biggest investment in the network since Victorian times and will mean more seats, better connections, and more reliable journeys for rail passengers.
“We recognise there will be temporary disruption, but the benefits for passengers will be significant when complete. We are investing billions of pounds in transport across the region and I am delighted that this project is on track to deliver what passengers have told us they want to see.”