Blackpool Branch Lines

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Blackpool Branch Lines
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Lancashire
North West England
Termini Preston
Blackpool North/South
Stations 13
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Northern Rail
First TransPennine Express
Virgin Trains
Rolling stock Class 142
Class 150
Class 153
Class 156
Class 158
Class 185
Class 221
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Blackpool & Fleetwood Branch Lines
Wyre Dock / Fleetwood
Burn Naze Halt
Poulton Curve Halt
Poulton-le-Fylde (old)
  ( WCML )
  ( P&LR )
Blackpool North
Blackpool Central
Lea Road
Blackpool South
Kirkham and Wesham
Blackpool South Shore
  ( WCML )
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Wrea Green
Blackpool tramwaySquires Gate
Moss Side
Gillett's Crossing Halt
Lytham (Station Road)
St Annes-on-the-Sea
Ansdell and Fairhaven

The Blackpool Branch Lines run from Preston to Blackpool. The line diverges at Kirkham and Wesham junction - a double track branch runs to Blackpool North station (Blackpool's main passenger station), while a single track branch runs to Blackpool South station.

Preston to Blackpool North[edit]

The route is used by the bulk of Blackpool's passenger trains, providing services to Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds as well as other destinations. The planned electrification of the Manchester to Blackpool North route was announced in December 2009.[1][2]

At Poulton junction, the freight-only Burn Naze branch diverges. This serves the industrial areas and ports around Fleetwood, and used to carry passenger traffic to the town, but the line has now been lifted from Burn Naze onward. Proposals exist to reopen the line in the future, as a large amount of track still remains and volunteers have begun to clear the line of the vegetation with which it was previously overgrown.

As of December 2014 Virgin Trains run one train per weekday between Blackpool North and London Euston using Class 221 Super Voyager trains.

First TransPennine Express and Northern Rail operate frequent services on the line.

Preston to Blackpool South[edit]

This single line branch serves Lytham St Annes as well as Blackpool Pleasure Beach, each with their own station. Currently one service per hour runs along this branch. The line was reduced from double to single track in the early 1980s. Until 1964 it ran further North into Blackpool to serve Blackpool Central station.

Kirkham to Blackpool Central[edit]

As well as the line via Blackpool South, a flyover junction at Kirkham and Wesham provided direct access to Blackpool Central station. Blackpool Central station closed in 1964 and its site is now where the Central Car Park stands; the trackbed and embankment has been used for the road Yeadon Way (built in the 1990s), which provides direct access from the M55. The first 2 miles of the M55 also occupy the former trackbed, until the Blackpool North line travels under the motorway at the point where the lines used to merge.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (14 December 2009), "Railway lines being electrified in £200m scheme", BBC News, accessed 15 December 2009
  2. ^ Hyde, Nick (14 December 2009), "Fylde railways on track for £200m boost", The Gazette, Blackpool, accessed 15 December 2009