After 11 weeks of closure, the railway between Preston and Blackpool South reopened Monday (29 January), following vital improvements to both lines into Blackpool, completed by VolkerRail, J Murphy and Sons and Siemens to provide passengers with a better, more reliable railway.
So far, over 11km of track has been upgraded, new modern signalling equipment installed and trains running to Blackpool South are now controlled from Network Rail’s rail operating centre in Manchester, which is helping reduce delays and keep trains running on time.
Work to upgrade and electrify the railway to Blackpool North will continue into the spring while the remaining overhead equipment, tracks, drainage and signalling equipment is installed.
Rail Minister Jo Johnson MP, said: “I am pleased to see the first section of this vital upgrade complete. This 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.
Chris Montgomery, major project director for Network Rail said: “We are delighted to reopen the railway to Blackpool South, marking the completion of the first phase of our Blackpool upgrade work.
“I’d like to thank passengers and our railway neighbours for their continued patience while we work to realise the benefits of the Great North Rail Project in Lancashire.
“This work brings us one step closer to fulfil our aim of enabling a greener, quieter and more reliable railway for passengers in the north west of England.”
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