Blackpool North railway station entrance
|Number of platforms||6|
|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||LYR and LNWR joint|
|Post-grouping||London Midland and Scottish Railway|
|29 April 1846||Opened as Blackpool|
|1872||Renamed Blackpool Talbot Road|
|17 March 1932||Renamed Blackpool North|
|1974||Rebuilt on site of former excursion platforms|
|National Rail - UK 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.|
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 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'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.
Blackpool North has regular services to Manchester, Liverpool, Bolton, Wigan, Preston, Blackburn, Leeds and York. There are four intercity trains a day to London Euston (with plans to increase this to five from 2020). There is one train per week Sunday only to Carlisle via the Ribble Valley and the Settle-Carlisle Line during the Summer timetable.
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.
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 and platforms were decommissioned and demolished in 1974, and the 1938 excursion platform canopy building was refurbished to become the new main station.
In November 2010, it was announced that the lines between Preston and Blackpool would be electrified, along with the line between Manchester and Preston. 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 station track and platform layout being altered, with the eight curved platforms reduced to six and on a straighter alignment than previously. The project was due for completion by May 2016, with the line onwards to Manchester following by the end of the year. This was subsequently pushed back twice - first to March 2017 and then again to early 2018 (after contractors Balfour Beatty pulled out), so that the track remodelling and re-signalling work could be carried out at the same time as the wiring, reducing disruption to passengers (as only one period of closure would be required).
The remodelling required the station to be completely closed for a significant period of time (up to 18 weeks according to Network Rail), with additional weekend and evening blocks before and after. Replacement buses to Preston operated during the closure. The station was closed until 16 April 2018 for the work to take place. A major rebuild and upgrade of the nearby carriage servicing depot was carried out at the same time.
The station is staffed and open for 24 hours a day, and is equipped with payphones, vending machines, toilets and indoor seating, as well as a customer service office and a booking office. 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. 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. The station also has a 30-space car park, and adjoining bus connections, which can also accommodate Plusbus ticket holders.
As Blackpool is a popular tourist resort, with its Pleasure Beach and beaches, there are many measures put in to prevent fare evasion, including automated barrier checks, as well as the conductors on the trains.
In May 2019, Northern services to York on weekdays resumed, a new summer Sunday service to Carlisle, known as DalesRail, returned and Manchester Piccadilly terminators were extended to Hazel Grove.
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 up to eight services per day to Blackpool North from Portsmouth Harbour, Brighton and London Paddington. 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.First North Western used to operate a Monday-Saturday boat train to/from Holyhead (which attached to a portion from Stockport) until 2003 and briefly operated a service between Blackpool and London Euston. Northern services to Leeds and York on weekdays were temporarily withdrawn prior to the start of electrification work in November 2017, but resumed in May 2019. Weekday Manchester Victoria services also ended prior to the start of electrification work in 2017 and although the route is now completely wired, direct services only now run on Sundays - passengers wishing to reach there at all other times have to change trains at one of Preston, Bolton or Salford Crescent.
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. 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.
In 2015, Alliance Rail Holdings 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. Alliance announced at the same time its intention to reapply for track access, using redundant InterCity 225 sets to start in 2019. In June 2018, the Office of Rail & Road approved an application for five direct services per day from Blackpool North to London Euston calling at: Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham & Wesham, Preston, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes Central. However, in June 2019, it was announced the service would begin in Spring 2020 and would be operated by sister company, Grand Central. On the same day the company revealed its timetable for its new Blackpool North to London Euston.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
Blackpool Branch Line
Liverpool to Wigan line
Preston to Manchester line
Calder Valley line
|Terminus||Avanti West Coast
WCML Blackpool Branch
WCML Blackpool to London
|Terminus||Preston and Wyre Joint Railway
Blackpool Branch Line