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

In early 2017, engineers worked round the clock during 10 weekend closures between Preston and Blackpool stations. New drainage to improve reliability was installed in Poulton-le-Fylde before tracks were realigned beneath a number of road bridges near the station. Improvements to the tracks were also made near Salwick station.

Work has also started on the route to install foundations for new equipment that will enable greener and quieter electric trains to run from May 2018. For safety reasons, the work is being undertaken overnight when trains aren’t running.

Did you know? Over 450,000 components will be used in the overhead equipment on the Preston to Blackpool North route.

Keeping you moving

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.

To carry out some of the more significant upgrade work to the tracks, signals and station platforms, a closure of the railway is needed in late 2017.

When the railway is temporarily closed, bus replacement services will be in operation between Preston and Blackpool.

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:

Wednesday 26 July 16:00-19:00 at Kirkham Town Council, The community Centre, Mill Street, Kirkham, PR4 2AN

Monday 31 July 16:00-19:00 at Poulton Civic Centre, Breck Road, Poulton-le-Fylde, FY6 7PU

Monday 21 August 16:00-19:00 at The Lund Vicarage Church Hall, Clifton, PR4 0ZE

Tuesday 22 August 16:00-19:00 at Ashton Methodist Church, Wellington Road, Preston, PR2 1BU

Tuesday 29 August 14:00-18:00 at Blackpool North station, Talbot Road, FY1 3AZ

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.