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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

The Great North Rail Project (to Blackpool)

Blackpool North and diesel sets abound - including the dreaded 'Pacers' - days now numbered.

Leaflets now being handed out in the Fylde provide details of the rail closure and opening dates ahead of termination of train services into and out of Blackpool stations (and other stations to Preston).

Services end on Saturday 11 November from both Blackpool North and Blackpool South termini. Rail replacement buses will operate on what are expected to be very flexible schedules between Preston and Blackpool. Whether any timetable or frequency information will be forthcoming is not known at this time. Stations should remain open for the issuance of tickets and rail service information.

Trains to Blackpool North and intermittent stations at Kirkham, Poulton-le-Fylde, Layton (and Salwick) will recommence on Sunday 25 March 2018. Trains to Blackpool South and all intermediate stations from Kirkham & Wesham (and Salwick) will recommence on 29th January. This presumes that overhead electrification work on the railway line from Kirkham to Preston will have be completed to allow safe passage of trains. Quite evidently the tracks and station approach into Blackpool North requires far more infra- structural work to completion. But the period of closure would seem to be much shorter than originally envisaged.

Following service reopening between Preston and Blackpool North electric trains will be able to run through from Liverpool, Manchester and other points in the north of England. Enhanced schedules will become available and the noise and smell of diesel powered units, if not totally abolished, are likely to be significantly truncated, except on services on the South Fylde line to Blackpool South which is not being electrified in the current upgrade.

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