Northern to sever Liverpool-Blackpool link

The direct train service between Liverpool Lime Street and Blackpool North is to end on October 5. Train operator Northern Rail will be introducing Class 319 electric multiple units between Liverpool Lime Street and Preston, and these cannot continue to Blackpool as that line is not yet electrified.

To compensate for this loss of trains between Preston and Blackpool North, the present Buxton/Hazel Grove to Preston service is to be extended.

However, there will be a small reduction in the number of trains serving the seaside town - one fewer train in either direction every day expect Saturday, and two fewer trains from Preston and three fewer from Blackpool North on Saturdays.

Northern already operates an hourly Class 319 service from Lime Street to Wigan North Western, so the conversion of the Preston service to electric power will bring a half-hourly EMU service between Lime Street and Wigan.

The information was given in a Track Access Application lodged by Northern Rail in late August.


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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 14/09/2015 09:39

    So that means the railway lines to Blackpool North and Blackpool South will not be electrified which means First Transpennine Express would have operate services to the 2 stations with their Class 185 Desiro DMU trains from Preston, Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly.

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  • Geoff Kerr - 15/09/2015 08:56

    There will be THREE emus an hour between Lime Street and Wigan - two stoppers and one fast going on to Preston. With Blackpool electrification seemingly delayed, it will be a while before Liverpool regains its through blackpool service.

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  • Anthony Sneath - 16/09/2015 19:53

    Wouldn't it be better to drag the 319s to Blackpool with a loco? Saves the DMU's for strengthening other services?

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