Track and signalling

07.12.17

Blackpool £22m tram extension gets DfT approval

Plans to build an extension on the Blackpool tramline connecting North Pier to Blackpool North Railway Station have been confirmed by the DfT.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling approved the £22m project, which is tied in with the larger station regeneration plans and includes the cost of two new Flexity2 trams.

The extension is expected to be completed and opened in 2019, with Lancashire Enterprise Partnership already giving approval.

Reportedly, around £16m of the project cost will be provided by Transport for Lancashire – a group made up of Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council, and Blackburn with Darwen Council – while the rest will be provided by the private sector.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, recently spoke to RTM about the project, confirming that work was scheduled to begin in 2018.

Following the approval announcement, Campbell commented: “Almost two million journeys go through Blackpool North train station every year and rail journeys to the resort are growing. This extension will not only capitalise on the electrification and growth in rail travel but it will make journeys for residents, commuters and visitors from the train station much easier.

“Over five million people already use the current tramway every year. That number is growing and passengers are extremely happy with the service they get from our modern day, accessible trams.

“That demand for tram and train travel proves just why we are so confident in the tram extension’s success and this will be a huge boost to the resort when the extended tramway opens.”

The council says that tram journeys in Blackpool last year increased by 3.9%, with passenger revenue rising by 15.4% over the same period.

The tramway reopened in 2012 following a major replacement of track and the creation of a new depot with 16 new trams.

Blackpool has also seen recent improvement work on other aspects of its network, with rail lines closed by Network Rail for 19 weeks from 11 November.

During the closure time NR and Northern will carry out upgrades to track and platforms at Blackpool North and Kirkham & Wesham stations, as well as upgrading the signalling on both lines into Blackpool, with 84 new signals installed.

Top image: George-Standen

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Comments

Andrew Gwilt   08/12/2017 at 02:13

Could the Blackpool Tramway may extend to Blackpool Airport to serve the local airport on the outskirts of the seaside town with a loop being built for trams to turn around to head back into Blackpool Beach and Fleetwood instead of terminating at the airport with a dead-end. Blackpool Airport could benefit having trams for people to use the trams to the seaside.

PP   08/12/2017 at 10:54

I very much doubt it, Andrew - Blackpool Airport has no scheduled passenger flights at all, so it's not exactly a hugely popular public transport destination.

Andrew Gwilt   09/12/2017 at 00:01

True.

Tliwg Nhoj Werdna   10/12/2017 at 15:11

How about an extension for the Marks Tey-Sudbury line instead?

Manfred   11/12/2017 at 00:09

Excellent idea Tliwg Nhoj Werdna, perhaps calling at Blackpool Airport en route?

Andrew Gwilt   11/12/2017 at 13:32

STOP MOCKING ME!!! The Marks Tey-Sudbury deserves more respect than this

Anonymous   11/12/2017 at 15:01

That’s the person who keeps on saying it. And is a troll. Anyways Merry Christmas.

Andrew   12/12/2017 at 12:48

The tram being extended to Lytham St Annes could be a good benefit to the network.

Howard   14/12/2017 at 02:44

What about having an extension over the river Wyre at Fleetwood to Knott End on Sea, then reopening the PIlling Pig line up to Garstang and then joining with the West Coast Mainline?

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