Kirkham and Wesham railway station
|Kirkham and Wesham|
Kirkham and Wesham railway station in 2008
|Number of platforms||3|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections|
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Original company||Preston and Wyre Joint Railway|
|Pre-grouping||L&YR / LNWR (joint)|
|Post-grouping||London Midland and Scottish Railway|
|16 July 1840||Opened as Kirkham|
|1906/7||Renamed Kirkham and Wesham|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Kirkham and Wesham from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
There were originally two platforms, but work in 2017 and 2018, added a third. There are fairly obvious signs of the former size of the station in the form of disused sidings areas and blocked-off arches. The station ticket office is at street level with two staircases leading down to the platforms. Originally a cast iron and glass roof covered the platforms similar to that at Poulton-le-Fylde station. This was removed in the 1960s. In 2018 lifts were also installed.
Fast lines used to run from Kirkham North Junction (located a half a mile to the west of the station) to what was known as Kirkham South Junction - just east of the station allowing through trains to pass without running through the platforms. These were the last vestige of the four track which originally started at Preston and were removed during remodelling work in 2017 to allow for a third platform and a faster alignment of the remaining and new lines As part of the works, all of the disused sidings were removed. The signalbox at Kirkham North Junction was opened in 1903 and had over 70 levers and was worked by two signalmen and a train recorder. A framed summary in the box detailed the total number of train movements there in a 24-hour period in July 1936 as 656 - the vast majority of these would have been connected with the Blackpool holiday trade.
The station, opened in 1840, was originally located to the west of Station Road and named Kirkham Station. In 1890, it was rebuilt on the east side of the road and later renamed Kirkham and Wesham. Historically the "Wrangway Brook", beside which the railway was laid, has always been the boundary between Kirkham and Wesham, and the station buildings are all situated in Kirkham.
Two tracks were built on the northern side of the line for a platform planned but never built due to the outbreak of World War II.
Kirkham Station signalbox which was located in between the Up (Salwick bound) Fast and the Down Fast line was demolished during resignalling operations in 1977. The same scheme also abolished Treales signalbox.
To the west of the station, Kirkham North Junction is where the suburban branch line to Blackpool South follows the Fylde coast through Lytham, Ansdell and Fairhaven, St Annes on Sea; the main line to Blackpool North proceeds via Poulton. Between 1903 and 1965 there was a third express line, the "Marton Line", which went straight to Blackpool South and beyond to Blackpool Central. This junction involved a flyover to allow Preston-bound trains to access the Up Fast line from the Marton line. Although the Marton line closed in 1965, the disused flyover bridge was not removed until the 1980s.
In March 2011 the station was given a makeover with a major modernisation and refurbishment of the staircase. In 2017-2018 it is being given another major refurbishment as part of the electrification programme.
The station has a street-level ticket office, which is manned throughout the week (06:40-17:45 Monday to Saturdays, 09:00-16:15 Sundays). A self-service ticket machine has also been installed for use when the booking office is closed or to collect pre-paid tickets. Waiting shelters are in place at platform level, along with digital CIS displays and timetable posters. There was no step-free access to the platforms, but new lifts were installed as part of the Preston to Blackpool electrification scheme.
Electrification and rebuild
As part of GNRP - Great North Rail Project and NPR - Northern Powerhouse Rail, the line from Manchester to Blackpool North was approved by the government for electrification. It was originally approved in 2009  The opportunity was taken to completely renew the signaling of the line and rebuild and improve stations along the line including Kirkham and Wesham. A big chunk of the work was done in a blockade. The plans have seen the track layout remodelled (with the non-platform lines removed), a third platform added, the footbridge rebuilt, new signalling installed and the route from Preston - Blackpool North electrified. The route to Blackpool South has not been electrified. The work at the station started in mid 2017 with a total blockade from Preston to Blackpool North and South starting in November 2017 and completed in April 2018, in time for the May 2018 timetable change. The station reopened with service to Blackpool South on 29 January 2018, but reopening of the line to Blackpool North was pushed back to 16 April 2018, as a result of bad weather and maintenance issues with one of the infrastructure trains being used in the upgrade works.
Since the May 2018 timetable change, the station is served by the EMUs running from Blackpool North to Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Airport via Wigan North Western (hourly on each route), plus the Preston to Blackpool South branch service. The latter originates from Ormskirk but runs in the opposite direction to Colne (for operational reasons); this also operates hourly.
On Sundays there are hourly services to Manchester Airport, Liverpool Lime Street and to Blackpool South & Colne, plus two tph to Blackpool North.
Virgin Trains operate four trains on weekdays between Blackpool North and London Euston. Alliance Rail has been given permission to run six trains a day from London to Blackpool North from 2018, with conditional permission for a stop at Kirkham and Wesham dependent upon future capacity after infrastructural work.
In June 2018, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) approved an application by Great North Western Railway for 5 direct services per day from Blackpool North to London Euston calling at: Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham & Wesham, Preston, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes Central. The service is planned for September 2019.
- 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. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
- "Preston to Blackpool upgrade continues as new footbridge is installed at Kirkham & Wesham station – Network Rail". www.networkrail.co.uk. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
- Hartley, S. (2006) "Lancashire Historic Town Survey—Kirkham" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2007. (7.71 MiB), Lancashire County Council Environment Directorate, accessed 30 October 2007.
- Kirkham and Wesham station facilities National Rail Enquiries
- Ltd, DVV Media International. "Government go ahead for more electrification". Railway Gazette. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
- "Passenger improvements planned for Fylde railway station" Network Rail Media Centre press release 16 January 2017; Retrieved 7 February 2017
- "Preston to Blackpool North"; Network Rail; Retrieved 20 March 2018
- GB eNRT May 2018 Edition, tables 82 & 97
- Topham, Gwyn. "Virgin has a rival: GNWR to run London to Blackpool west coast rail service". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Application for a new track access contract for services between London Euston and Blackpool North" (PDF). Office of Rail and Road. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- "NEW BLACKPOOL TO LONDON RAIL SERVICES APPROVED". Alliance Rail Holdings. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kirkham and Wesham railway station.|
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
Blackpool North Branch Line
Blackpool South Branch Line
Blackpool to Liverpool line
WCML Blackpool Branch
|Poulton-le-Fylde||Great North Western Railway
West Coast Main Line
London – Blackpool North
|Singleton||Preston and Wyre Joint Railway
Fleetwood Branch Line
Blackpool (N) Branch Line
|Blackpool South||Preston and Wyre Joint Railway
Marton Line 1903–1965
|Wrea Green||Preston and Wyre Joint Railway
Lytham Branch Line