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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Poulton le-Fylde Station - a real gem

There is a lot going on around Poulton's railway station these days. The pace of electrification is gathering 'steam' with overhead stanchions now being embedded between Poulton and Kirkham (and beyond); whilst track realignment on the curving

line that passes through Poulton Station has been completed.

This has meant disconnecting the former double track junction which led northwards to Thornton and Fleetwood, leaving tracks and trackbed in situ and awaiting a further new role. The prominent signal box, a leading feature by the diverging tracks now redundant and soon to be demolished according to Network Rail. This is despite sustained protests from Fylde area groups and the wider public. Below : the once busy track junction with the Fleetwood line leading off to the right (now disconnected) and the revised line trackbed for electric trains running west to Blackpool North (and Layton) from Poulton le-Fylde. The soon to be removed signal box controlling the former junction and railway lines at Poulton still in place. A semaphore approach signal on the Fleetwood line leading into Poulton remains however (along with the track on most of the route as far as Burn Naze).

Poulton le-Fylde station is probably one of the most well maintained and cared for stations in the northwest. Retaining its island platform and original brick waiting rooms and traditional canopy the station is a real jewel mainly as a result of local groups taking care of much of the fabric and in particular the 'garden' space on the wide platform. The two original platform hanging clocks keep time and complement (for the moment) the semaphore signals which are still needed to control train movements on the section between Preston, Kirkham and Wesham, and Blackpool.

This will end with electrification with both semaphores and signal boxes on the route

becoming redundant - for removal hopefully to caring railway societies and interests.

Classic railway station architecture in Lancashire - well maintained with the clocks keeping time and a complete canopy over the platforms. Hanging flower baskets affixed to the waiting room walls on the platform are kept very much filled with blooming plants - no plastic subterfuge on this station. A replica wooden station sign capturing the earlier Edwardian style of the station is also a notable feature on this 'time capsule' of railway history in the Fylde. The many volunteers should be complemented on their consistent care and effort making Poulton-le-Fylde Station something of an area landmark. All it needs now is a blue plaque.

Passengers get a great view (and positive impression) of the well tended station and its

floral decorations on the platform walls and a themed garden on the eastern end of the lengthy platform (originally used by boat trains for steamers at Fleetwood onward to Ireland and the west coast of Scotland - such was the importance of the original line).

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