This weekend saw the start of work to transform the railway line between Blackpool and Preston.
The project officially started on this “vital upgrade” on 11 November and will take 19 weeks to complete.
During this time, a railway that both Preston and Blackpool can be proud of will be created, bringing about a transformation on this part of the network not seen the Victorian era.
Part of the Great North Rail Project, the improvement of the line between Blackpool and Preston is yet another example of investment that will result in better journeys for businesses and passengers throughout the north of England.
By the end of the next 19 weeks, the railway line between Blackpool and Preston will benefit from electrification, which is also part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
The railway will have greater capacity to carry more people by train throughout the north of England once the project is complete.
Tracks and platforms at both Blackpool North and Kirkham & Weston will be upgraded, while signalling on both lines into Blackpool will also be improved.
By installing 84 new signals, journeys will become much more reliable.
The Department for Transport’s spokesperson explained the benefits of this project.
“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.”
Network Rail’s London North Western route Managing Director, Martin Frobisher, said this is the biggest investment programme in rail in the area for more than 100 years.
“The upgrade of the line between Preston and Blackpool is the largest rail investment in this 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.
“I am confident the short term plan will be worth the long ter gain of transformed train travel in the future.”