Blackpool North railway station

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Blackpool North National Rail
Blackpool North entrance - DSC06505.JPG
Blackpool North railway station entrance
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
Station code BPN
Managed by Northern Rail
Number of platforms 8
DfT category C1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  1.664 million
2005/06 Decrease 1.610 million
2006/07 Increase 1.673 million
2007/08 Increase 1.684 million
2008/09 Decrease 1.621 million
2009/10 Decrease 1.613 million
2010/11 Increase 1.712 million
2011/12 Increase 1.725 million
2012/13 Decrease 1.683 million
2013/14 Decrease 1.653 million
2014/15 Increase 1.758 million
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


* 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.
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 from 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 withdrew HST 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. Passengers must now change at Preston for InterCity connections: though Virgin have now re-introduced a Monday-Friday service between London and Blackpool North from 15 December 2014.

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.


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.


On 25 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 will result in the semaphore signalling at the station being replaced by modern colour lights controlled from the WCML North Rail Operating Centre in Preston and will also see the station track & platform layout altered (the current eight curved platforms will be reduced to six on a straighter alignment than at present). Work has begun to raise many of the intermediate overbridges to accommodate the overhead wires and 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 to March 2017 so that the track remodelling & resignalling 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] Trains to both Manchester (Victoria & Piccadilly) and Liverpool Lime Street (as well as to London) can then be worked by electric traction.


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,[8] as well as a customer service office and a booking office.[9] 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.[8] 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.[9] The station also has a 30-space car park,[8] and adjoining bus connections, which can also accommodate Plusbus ticket holders.[10]

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[11] as well as the conductors on the train.

The station is approximately half a mile along Talbot Road from the Blackpool tramway, which is planned to be extended to the station in the near future in a new transport interchange.

A panorama of the interior of Blackpool North station


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

The station is served by Virgin Trains, Northern Rail and First TransPennine Express.[12]

All First TransPennine Express services are operated by Class 185 Desiro and Class 156 Super Sprinter units.

Great North Western Railway has been given permission to run 6 trains a day from London to Blackpool North from 2018.[13] The London terminus will be either Euston or Queen's Park, depending on network capacity during planned infrastructural work to the West Coast Mainline.[13] In addition, the intermediate stations at which the service will stop are also dependent upon future capacity.[13]

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 Rail 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 is electrified (sometime in 2017) and through running with electric stock can be reinstated.[14] Direct Sunday services will however remain in operation until at least until the December 2015 timetable change.[15][16]

From 1 April 2016, the Manchester Airport service currently run by TPE will be transferred to the new Northern Rail franchise run by Arriva Rail North Ltd. Both it and the York service will be marketed under the Northern Connect brand.[17]


  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 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199. 
  2. ^ Hartley, S. and Mitchell, L. (2005) Lancashire Historic Town Survey—Blackpool PDF (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 2014-09-06
  8. ^ a b c "Blackpool North (BPN)". National Rail. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Blackpool North Station Plan". National Rail. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Blackpool North". Plusbus. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Blackpool station set for £600,000 first". Blackpool Gazette. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  12. ^ GB National Rail Timetable 19 May - 7 December 2013 - Tables 41,82 & 97
  13. ^ a b c Topham, Gwyn. "Virgin has a rival: GNWR to run London to Blackpool west coast rail service". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Northern to sever Liverpool - Blackpool link" Brown, Stefanie, RAIL magazine news article 14 September 2015; Retrieved 23-09-2015
  15. ^ Northern Rail timetable 10 - Liverpool to Wigan and Blackpool North, 5 October to 12 December 2015Northern Rail; Retrieved 5 October 2015
  16. ^ GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Tables 82 & 90
  17. ^ Northern Franchise Improvements - DfT Retrieved 7 January 2016

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Terminus   First TransPennine Express
TransPennine North West
Terminus   Northern Rail
Blackpool Branch Line
Terminus   Northern Rail
Blackpool - Liverpool Line
York - Blackpool Line
Terminus   Northern Rail
Blackpool - York via Manchester Line
Terminus   Virgin Trains
WCML Blackpool Branch
Disused railways
Terminus   Preston and Wyre Joint Railway
Blackpool Branch Line