On Saturday 11 November, VolkerRail started work within one of the railway industries biggest ever line closures as part of the Great North Rail Project.
For 19 weeks, the team will carry out electrification works between Preston and Blackpool, vital upgrades to track and platforms at Blackpool North and Kirkham & Wesham stations and upgrade the signalling on both lines into Blackpool, which includes installing 84 new signals.
Works will also continue to upgrade and electrify the existing depot sidings near Blackpool.
A DfT spokesperson said: “This vital upgrade is part of the government’s biggest investment in the network since Victoria times and will mean more seats, better connections, and more reliable journeys for rail passengers.
“We recognise there will be temporary disruption, but the benefits for passengers will be significant when complete. We are investing billions of pounds in transport across the region and this project is on track to deliver what passengers have told us they want to see.”
Jim Goldsby, VolkerRail senior project manager, said: “It is very rare to be afforded so much access on the railway, to carry out works, and it is essential we maximise this opportunity. A lot has been done in preparation for the 19 week closure but the team have worked collaboratively with the client and supply chain to put us in the best position possible. Throughout the closure it is imperative we maintain our high safety standards and ensure the potential impacts on the local community is at the forefront of every decision.”
Between Saturday 11 November and Sunday 28 January 2018 the railway will be completely closed between Preston and Blackpool North and Blackpool South stations.
Between Monday 29 January 2018 and Sunday 25 March 2018 the railway between Preston and Blackpool South will reopen but the railway between Kirkham & Wesham and Blackpool North will remain closed.
For more information please visit www.networkrail.co.uk/blackpool