Preston-Blackpool line upgrade underway

Photo: Network Rail.

Network Rail and its contractors have begun the main construction phase of a scheme to electrify the Preston to Blackpool line.

Track lowering works started at Poutlon at the end of February. Once this is completed at the end of May, work will begin on the installation of over 200km of overhead catenary.

The upgrade is part of the £1 billion Great North Rail Project.

The project team includes VolkerRail, Atkins, J. Murphy & Sons Limited and Siemens.

VolkerRail’s project director, Jim Goldsby, said: “The team have already hit the ground running and are fully focused on the safe delivery of the works within the challenging timescales, which includes a 19-week blockade.

“Successful delivery of a project of this magnitude and complexity is only achieved by working with Network Rail and our project partners within a collaborative environment.”

Noel Connolly, Network Rail’s head of programme management, added: “Work has already begun on site, and we are working closely with contractors, local train operators and other key stakeholders to deliver in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible while minimising disruption for both lineside communities and passengers.”