Station code BPN
2011/12 1.725 million
Number of platforms 8
|Grid reference SD310366|
DfT category C1
– Interchange 5,979
Managed by Northern
|Address Blackpool FY1 3AZ, United Kingdom|
Similar Blackpool South railway st, Preston railway station, Manchester Victoria station, Huddersfield railway station, Blackburn railway station
Blackpool north railway station and trams
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 17 1⁄2 miles (28 km) northwest of Preston.
- Blackpool north railway station and trams
- Former Services
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 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.
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.
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. 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 Manchester 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, with the line onwards to Manchester following by the end of the year. This has since been pushed back twice - first to March 2017 and then again to early 2018 (after contractors Balfour Beatty pulled out) so that the track remodelling & re-signalling 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). The remodelling will likely require the station to be completely closed for a significant period of time (up to 18 weeks according to Network Rail) with additional weekend & evening blocks either side. Replacement buses to Preston will operate during the closure. 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, 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 famous 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 train.
The station is approximately half a mile along Talbot Road from the Blackpool tramway, which is to be extended to the station in 2018/19 as part of a new transport interchange.
The station is served by Northern and Virgin Trains.
Grand Central has been given permission to run six trains a day from London to Blackpool North from 2018. The London terminus will be either Euston or Queen's Park, depending on network capacity during planned infrastructural work to the West Coast Mainline. In addition, the intermediate stations at which the service will stop are also dependent upon future capacity.
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 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 (by May 2018) and through running with electric stock can be reinstated. Direct Sunday services will however remain in operation until at least until the December 2015 timetable change.
First TransPennine Express used to run the service to Manchester Airport however, this was passed on to the Northern franchise on 1 April 2016. Virgin CrossCountry used to run services to Blackpool North from Portsmouth Harbour, Brighton and London Paddington. The service was introduced by Virgin to improve frequency of the CrossCountry services and were introduced in 2000. These services were withdrawn in Summer 2003 by the Strategic Rail Authority to improve punctuality of the service.