Blackpool North railway station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Blackpool North National Rail
Blackpool North entrance - DSC06505.JPG
Blackpool North railway station entrance
Location
Place Blackpool
Local authority Blackpool
Coordinates 53°49′18″N 3°02′57″W / 53.8218°N 3.0493°W / 53.8218; -3.0493Coordinates: 53°49′18″N 3°02′57″W / 53.8218°N 3.0493°W / 53.8218; -3.0493
Grid reference SD310366
Operations
Station code BPN
Managed by Northern
Number of platforms 6
DfT category C1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2012/13 Decrease 1.683 million
2013/14 Decrease 1.653 million
2014/15 Increase 1.758 million
2015/16 Increase 1.764 million
2016/17 Increase 1.858 million
History
Original company Preston and Wyre Joint Railway
Pre-grouping LYR and LNWR joint
Post-grouping London Midland and Scottish Railway
29 April 1846 Opened as Blackpool[1]
1872 Renamed Blackpool Talbot Road[1]
1898 Rebuilt[2]
17 March 1932 Renamed Blackpool North[1]
1974 Rebuilt on site of former excursion platforms
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Blackpool North from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Blackpool North railway station is the main station serving the seaside resort of Blackpool in Lancashire, England. It is the terminus of the main Blackpool branch line and is 17 12 miles (28 km) northwest of Preston.

The station was opened in its present form in 1974, and succeeded a previous station a few hundred yards away on Talbot Road which had first opened in 1846 and had been rebuilt in 1898. The present station is based on the 1938 concrete canopy which covered the entrance to the former excursion platforms of the old station.

Blackpool North was on the InterCity network until 2003 when Virgin Trains West Coast and Virgin CrossCountry withdrew High Speed Train and Voyager services to London Euston and Birmingham.[3] Former local franchise holder First North Western ran services from Blackpool to London Euston, but these were soon discontinued. However in the December 2014 timetable change Virgin reintroduced direct services to/from London Euston albeit only on weekdays and only one each way a day. As of May 2018, there are four trains a day to/from London Euston.

Blackpool's other station, Blackpool South, is situated in the south of the town, with services towards Preston and Colne, and does not connect to Blackpool North.

History

The first station opened on 29 April 1846 as Blackpool, renamed Blackpool Talbot Road in 1872, and was first rebuilt in 1898. The rebuilt station consisted of two parallel train sheds and a terminal building, in Dickson Road between Talbot Road and Queen Street. Platforms 1 to 6 were located in the sheds, with a larger island between platforms 1 and 2 to accommodate taxis. In addition, there was effectively, in all but name, a separate station at the east end of Queen Street, with open "excursion" platforms 7 to 16, used only in summer.[4]

The station was recommended for closure in the Beeching Report (1963), but following lobbying by Blackpool Corporation it was Blackpool Central—Blackpool's other centrally-located station, but whose site was better-suited for re-development—which closed in 1964.

The main station buildings, train shed & platforms were decommissioned and demolished in 1974, replaced by the current station based on the former excursion platforms.

Electrification

In November 2010 it was announced that the lines between Preston and Blackpool would be electrified, along with the line between Manchester and Preston.[5] This resulted in the semaphore signalling at the station being replaced by modern colour lights controlled from the WCML North Rail Operating Centre in Manchester and the alteration station track & platform layout altered (the current eight curved platforms will be reduced to six on a straighter alignment than at present). The project was due for completion by May 2016,[6] with the line onwards to Manchester following by the end of the year. This has since been pushed back twice - first to March 2017 and then again to early 2018 (after contractors Balfour Beatty pulled out) so that the track remodelling & re-signalling work can be carried out at the same time as the wiring, reducing disruption to passengers (as only one period of closure will be required).[7][8] The remodelling required the station to be completely closed for a significant period of time (up to 18 weeks according to Network Rail[9]) with additional weekend & evening blocks either side. Replacement buses to Preston operated during the closure.

The station was closed until 16 April 2018 for the work to take place.[10]

Facilities

As can be expected of a terminus railway station for a large town, it is staffed and open for 24 hours a day, and is equipped with payphones, vending machines, toilets and indoor seating,[11] as well as a customer service office and a booking office.[12] Step-free access to the station and platform is available for passengers with wheelchairs or prams, and portable ramps are also available for platform to train access.[11] The station has its own covered concourse and, adjoining the concourse, it has a Pumpkin cafe, as well as a Point shop to Go convenience store.[12] The station also has a 30-space car park,[11] and adjoining bus connections, which can also accommodate Plusbus ticket holders.[13]

As Blackpool is a popular tourist resort, with its famous Pleasure Beach and beaches, there are many measures put in to prevent fare evasion, including automated barrier checks[14] as well as the conductors on the train.

The station is approximately half a mile along Talbot Road from the Blackpool tramway, which is to be extended to the station in 2018/19 as part of a new transport interchange.[15]

A panorama of the interior of Blackpool North station

Services

A Northern Rail Class 158 DMU at Blackpool North in 2015, used for the service to York. Blackpool Tower is in the background.

The station is served by Northern and Virgin Trains.[16]

Direct weekday services to and from Liverpool Lime Street temporarily came to end in October 2015 (except for a limited number of peak hour trains) when Northern introduced Class 319 EMUs on most through workings between Liverpool and Preston (these units already operate on stopping trains between Liverpool & Wigan). The current Hazel Grove to Preston service will be extended through to Blackpool North as a replacement until the Preston to Blackpool section was electrified and through running with electric stock could be reinstated.[17] Direct Sunday services however remained in operation.[18][19] This was reintroduced in May 2018 with 2 Trains per hour.[20]

Former Services

First TransPennine Express used to run the service to Manchester Airport, but it was passed on to the Northern franchise on 1 April 2016. Virgin CrossCountry used to run services to Blackpool North from Portsmouth Harbour, Brighton and London Paddington.[21] The services were introduced by Virgin to increase the frequency of the CrossCountry trains and were introduced in 2000. They were withdrawn in summer 2003 by the Strategic Rail Authority to improve the general punctuality of train services.[22] First North Western briefly operated a service between Blackpool and London Euston.[23][unreliable source?]

Future services

In 2015, Alliance Rail Holdings, a company that formulates and implements open access rail proposals, was awarded the right to begin running six regular daily passenger services between Blackpool and London, to be operated by open access operator Grand Central using specially built Class 390 EMUs. However, the company was unable to obtain the relevant permissions to use this type of rolling stock, and so allowed its access rights to lapse in June 2017.[24] Alliance announced at the same time its intention to reapply for track access, using redundant InterCity 225 sets to start in 2019.[24][25]

References

  1. ^ a b c Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199. 
  2. ^ Hartley, S. and Mitchell, L. (2005) "Lancashire Historic Town Survey—Blackpool" (PDF). [permanent dead link] (25.5 MiB), Lancashire County Council Environment Directorate, accessed 30 October 2007, p.23
  3. ^ "Service will not be back on track". Blackpool Gazette. 27 May 2003. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  4. ^ Taylor, Stuart (2005). Kirkham to Blackpool (North) and Fleetwood for the Isle of Man. Bredbury: Foxline. pp. 51–52, 56, 59, 75–76. ISBN 1-870119-74-6. 
  5. ^ "Railways to get £8bn investment". BBC News. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2010. 
  6. ^ Network Rail - Electrification in the North West Network Rail website; Retrieved 2013-08-28
  7. ^ "Electrification to be shunted back into 2017'Blackpool Gazette news article 21-06-2014; Retrieved 0 September 2014
  8. ^ "Railway all set to get back on track by 2018"Lancashire Evening Post 26 January 2016; Retrieved 6 June 2016
  9. ^ "Rail line to close for up to 18 weeks" Stocks, Rob Blackpool Gazette 6 July 2016; Retrieved 16 August 2016
  10. ^ "North West Electrification - Preston to Blackpool North" Network Rail news article; Retrieved 15 September 2017
  11. ^ a b c "Blackpool North (BPN)". National Rail. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Blackpool North Station Plan". National Rail. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "Blackpool North". Plusbus. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Blackpool station set for £600,000 first". Blackpool Gazette. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  15. ^ https://www.blackpool.gov.uk/News/2016/March/Tramway-terminal-centre-of-Talbot-Gateway-phase-two.aspx
  16. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2016 Edition, Tables 41, 65, 82 and 97
  17. ^ "Northern to sever Liverpool - Blackpool link" Brown, Stefanie, RAIL magazine news article 14 September 2015; Retrieved 23-09-2015
  18. ^ Northern Rail timetable 10 - Liverpool to Wigan and Blackpool North, 5 October to 12 December 2015 Archived 6 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine.Northern Rail; Retrieved 5 October 2015
  19. ^ GB eNRT December 2016 Edition, Tables 82 & 90
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ [2]
  22. ^ "Select Committee on Transport Fourth Report". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2017-09-05. 
  23. ^ Train Stations
  24. ^ a b Alliance drops Pendolino plan as Southampton paths identified Railway Gazette International 19 July 2017
  25. ^ "Alliance Rail Holdings: Projects". 

External links

  • Train times and station information for Blackpool North railway station from National Rail
  • Blackpool & Fylde Rail Users’ Association—Blackpool North, accessed 17 October 2007
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Terminus   Northern
Blackpool Branch Line
Blackpool - Manchester
  Layton
Terminus   Northern
Blackpool to Liverpool line
  Poulton-le-Fylde
Terminus   Northern
Calder Valley line
(Sundays only)
  Poulton-le-Fylde
Terminus   Virgin Trains
WCML Blackpool Branch
  Preston
    Poulton-le-Fylde
Disused railways
Terminus   Preston and Wyre Joint Railway
Blackpool Branch Line
  Bispham
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