Thousands of rail passengers are beginning to first of many months of journeys by replacement buses.
Network Rail has shut the Preston to Blackpool line for 19 weeks for electrification work.
Work on the multi-million pound scheme – part of the Great North Rail Project – began on Saturday (11 November).
A fleet of replacement buses has been put on to ferry passengers between the city and Blackpool.
Both Blackpool North and Kirkham and Wesham stations are being revamped as part of the work.
Network Rail’s London North Western route managing director Martin Frobisher said: “The upgrade of the line between Preston and Blackpool is the largest rail investment in the area since the 19th century and will provide a railway between Blackpool and Preston 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 people on the move throughout. 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.
“I am confident the short-term pain will be worth the long-term gain of transformed train travel in future.”
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The services affected include Northern and Virgin Trains.
Regional director at Northern Sharon Keith 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.”
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The work is due to be complete by May 2018.
Passengers are advised to visit the National Rail website before travelling.
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