Transforming’s Blackpool railway – we’re enabling greener, quieter and more reliable journeys for passengers


Blackpool South line reopens after major phase of bridge replacement in Lytham St Annes

The railway between Preston and Blackpool South has reopened to trains after two weekends of work to replace a road bridge over the railway as part of the Great North Rail Project.

Network Rail worked round-the-clock during two weekends in March to install a new concrete bridge on Highbury Road in Lytham St Annes.

A railway-mounted ‘Kirow’ crane was used to lift 27 precast concrete beams into place forming a new bridge over the railway. Improvements will make the bridge safer, more reliable and in need of less maintenance in future.

The final phase of works to reinstate utilities services through the bridge, as well as the new road surface will continue during day and night time shifts. The bridge is due to reopen to all traffic on Friday 10 May.

Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to cross the railway using a temporary crossing throughout the project's duration.

ury Road Lytham, St Annes bridge work
Highbury Road Lytham, St Annes bridge work

Road closure

While the work takes place, Highbury road has been closed to all traffic and will reopen on Friday 10 May 2019.

A road diversion will be in place throughout the work and will be clearly signposted. Access for pedestrians and cyclists will remain open throughout the project's duration.

Being a considerate neighbour

Disruptions may include:

  • Noise from engineering trains and railway vehicles.
  • Temporary flood lighting and head torches.
  • Safety alarm sounds to indicate reversing vehicles.
  • Engineering work including digging, moving railway stone and other heavy materials.

We have written to our lineside neighbours about these works and will continue to keep them informed.

When will work to replace Highbury Road bridge take place?

  • Work to rebuild the bridge will continue until the end of May 2019.
  • We will continue to work Monday – Friday from 07:30 to 17:00
  • Below is a list of our planned shifts where we will be working unsociable hours*
DateShift TimesWorks
Sunday - 24/03/1900:01 - 08:00Brick repairs using small plant and tools
Sunday 31/03/1900:01 - 08:00Brick repairs using small plant and tools
Sunday 07/04/1900:01 - 08:00Removal of Scaffold and Brick repairs using small plant and tools.
Sunday 14/04/1900:01 - 08:00Removal of Scaffold and Brick repairs using small plant and tools.
Sunday 21/04/1900:01 - 08:00Removal of Scaffold and Brick repairs using small plant and tools.
Sunday 28/04/1900:01 - 08:00Removal of Scaffold and Brick repairs using small plant and tools.

What's happening?

Drainage improvement works and finishing touches at Kirkham & Wesham station

At the beginning of 2019, work was undertaken to complete two major drainage upgrades in the Poulton-le-Fylde and Kirkham & Wesham station areas, which will help to make the railway more reliable.

The drainage works began last year, however problems were experienced due to the high-water table in the area. This has resulted in us having to use temporary pumping equipment to keep the railway operational. Once the work is completed, this will allow us to remove the temporary noisy generators from the railway and vitally help to make the Preston-Blackpool line more reliable.

Work has also been carried out to fit the last few exterior cladding panels on Kirkham & Wesham station's two new lifts. The  lifts and a new footbridge were installed in 2018 as part of the station's transformation and have helped to provide easier access to trains for passengers.

The finishing touches to the Preston to Blackpool upgrade will continue during overnight shifts until the end of April 2019.

In 2018 we completed our project to upgrade and electrify Blackpool’s railway, enabling electric trains to run between Preston and Blackpool North

VIDEO: Watch our time-lapse video to find out more:

Kirkham & Wesham station benefits from step-free access to all platforms

As part of the multi-billion pound Great North Rail Project, Kirkham & Wesham station has been transformed with a new platform, footbridge and lifts.

The work – which included rebuilding the existing platforms – has been delivered alongside our upgrade of Blackpool’s railway which has enabled the introduction of greener, quieter and more modern electric trains on the route.

The accessibility improvements we have made will not only benefit disabled people or those with reduced mobility, but also those with children, heavy luggage or shopping.

If you have any questions about our Great North Rail Project please contact our 24-hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41