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Preston to Blackpool North

Better rail journeys across the north of England are coming – we're upgrading this key route, paving the way for more reliable journeys with more space for passengers

What's happening?

We are upgrading the railway between Preston and Blackpool as part of a £1bn+ investment in the north to deliver cleaner, quieter and more reliable journeys by May 2018.

The 17 mile route between Preston and Blackpool North will be fully electrified paving the way for better trains with more seats. We’re also improving the track layout and modernising signalling equipment to reduce delays and improve performance.

Work includes the replacement of 84 signals and moving the signalling control to the Manchester rail operating centre. Blackpool North and Kirkham & Wesham stations will be remodelled as part of our plans to simplify the current layout of the railway.


Keeping you informed

There will be changes to train services between Preston and Blackpool from October 2016 until 2018.

To carry out some of the more significant upgrade work to the tracks, signals and station platforms, closures of the railway are needed. In early 2017 there will be a series of weekend closures between Preston and Blackpool, with a further closure of the line later in the year.

Train services on weekends from 21 January to 2 April 2017

Weekend engineering work will take place between Preston and Blackpool and will start on 21 January, with no trains running between Preston and both Blackpool North and South stations.

Keeping you moving

While the railway is temporarily closed, bus replacement services will be in operation between Preston and Blackpool. Details of the bus replacement services are available on the National Rail Enquiries website 10 weeks ahead of your travel time.


Our improvement work has been planned to affect rail transport in and out of Blackpool as little as possible and we are committed to keeping passengers moving.

We are working closely with Northern and Virgin Trains so that when we do close the railway, passengers are informed about changes to train services. Please check before you travel at National Rail Enquiries.

Being a considerate neighbour

Some of the work required to electrify the railway can be disruptive to local residents and businesses.


We will be holding information events at various locations along the route, giving our neighbours the opportunity to meet our project team and to find out about the next phase of work.

Details of upcoming events can be found below:

Monday 20 March 16.00 - 19.00 at Kirkham Community Centre, Mill Street, PR4 2AN

Monday 27 March 16.00 - 19.00 at Poulton Civic Centre, Breck Road, FY6 7PU

Thursday 20 April 16.00 - 19.00 at Ashton Methodist Church, Preston, PR2 1DG

Monday 27 March 16:00 - 19:00 at Poulton Civic Centre, Breck Road, Poulton-Le-Fylde, FY6 7PU

Throughout the project we will be writing to our neighbours with details of where and when we will be working.

Download our leaflet to find out more about electrification in the north west.