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Blackpool depot


As part of Network Rail’s North West Electrification Phase 3 project, VolkerRail modernised Blackpool North depot, to house and maintain the new fleet of electric trains for train operating company Northern Rail. 

The upgrade was part of the Great North Rail Project – a vast programme of improvements to transform train travel for customers in the North.

The project saw the team complete changes to track layout, including the construction of new roads, install overhead line equipment and build a new train washing facility.

Throughout the whole project, the depot remained fully operational and maintained service throughout the extensive works. Works within the scope included:

  • 11km of new track
  • 1,100+ OLE structures
  • 12,000m+ trough works
  • 5 x station remodelling
  • 200km OLE cables
  • LV & HV electrical systems
  • 3 x footbridges
  • Signalling system upgrades
  • 6,000m+ drainage works


The whole depot has undergone complete track reconfiguration works across the 17 lines. Track was  relayed and the worn out wood sleepers replaced with new contact sleepers and new clips.


Prior to development, the depot was only designed to house diesel trains. To upgrade the depot, for Northern’s new fleet of electrified trains the team electrified the whole depot


To provide foundation support for the new overhead line structures, the team installing 80 CHS piles, between 3.5m – 7.5m long

Facts and figures