Starting from tomorrow (Saturday 18th February) Preston’s train station will be closed for four weekends. No trains will serve Preston station on these dates:
- Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 February
- Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February
- Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 March
- Sunday 12 March
Network Rail say they are investing £1.5m to upgrade railway foundation stone and six switches and crossings at Preston station – moving sections of track which allow trains to change lines. These hardworking pieces of railway equipment are crucial to keep trains running smoothly and this maintenance will mean more reliable journeys for passengers and freight in future.
The complexity of these upgrading switches and crossings means the railway will need to close completely between Wigan North Western and Lancaster.
Staff will be on hand to help passengers stay on the move through rail replacement bus services which be in operation between Wigan North Western, Preston and Lancaster.
Network Rail’s North West route director, Phil James, said: ‘I’d like to thank people in advance for their understanding ahead of our essential track improvements at Preston station. Once complete it will mean better, smoother and more reliable journeys for passengers and freight on the West Coast main line. However, upgrading complex equipment like switches and crossings means we have no choice but to close sections of railway and stop trains running so engineers can quickly and safely carry out our work. I’d urge anyone wanting to travel over the four weekends concerned to check National Rail Enquiries and plan ahead, allow extra time to get to where you need to be, and be prepared for some of your journey to be by bus.’
Shirley Ross, Avanti West Coast’s Station Manager at Preston, said: ‘We’re working closely with Network Rail and our industry partners to minimise the disruption to customers on the weekends where engineering works are taking place. Our team at Preston will be on hand to help customers at the station. Those who do travel, should check in advance and allow extra time for their journey, especially those travelling to and from Scotland. Anyone travelling is advised to check www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk.’
Chris Nutton, major projects director for TransPennine Express, said: ‘Whilst the upgrade work takes place around Preston station, there will be a number of changes to TransPennine Express services between Manchester/Liverpool to Glasgow/Edinburgh. We strongly advise customers to plan ahead and to check the latest changes to our services before they travel on our website www.tpexpress.co.uk/travel-updates/changes-to-train-times. Updates will also be available on our social media channels.’
Chris Jackson, regional director for Northern, said: ‘We welcome this investment in the rail infrastructure at Preston station. Getting people from where they are to where they want to be is what Northern is all about – and essential maintenance like this is an important part of protecting our operations for the future.’
For more advice passengers should check before travelling at www.nationalrail.co.uk or with their individual train operator.