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New timetables and planned disruption

Northern introduces new Blackpool services as part of May timetable switch

21 March 2018
Northern is introducing improved services to make travelling to and from Blackpool more convenient than ever before.

From 20 May Northern will re-introduce an hourly electric service between Liverpool and Blackpool North operating every day.

Two services an hour will operate between Blackpool North and Manchester Piccadilly, one of which will be an electric service to Manchester Airport via Wigan with the second operating via Bolton.

Northern will continue to run four trains per hour between Blackpool North and Preston and will also introduce a regular hourly weekday service between Preston and Ormskirk for the first time.

The enhanced services form part of Northern’s May timetable change, which is paving the way for future improvements and getting the network ready for the arrival of Northern’s fully refurbished trains.

Unfortunately, due to the knock on effects of delays in the delivery of infrastructure work between Manchester and Preston, it has been necessary to postpone some of the improvements Northern had hoped to deliver. The existing service between Blackpool North and York will be curtailed with customers being asked to change at Preston and Leeds onto connecting services.

Sharon Keith, Northern’s Regional Director, said: “Whilst we have been able to offer some notable improvements in our May timetable for customers travelling to and from Blackpool, it’s disappointing that we have had to alter the through services to York.

“Our proposed timetable for May 18 was dependent on the successful delivery by Network Rail of the Manchester to Preston Electrification Project, which has been significantly delayed.

“This means some of our proposed routes have been rescheduled and will now be arriving later than planned.”

Sharon added: “The delay to some of our service improvements will not, however, delay our overall modernisation plans. By 2020 we will provide 2,000 extra services across the Northern network each week, will have introduced 98 brand new trains, will have fully refurbished our fleet and removed all Pacers from the line. We are absolutely committed to transforming the journey experience for our customers.”

Northern’s May 2018 service improvements are as follows:

Manchester – Blackpool 

  • Hourly service running Blackpool North – Manchester Piccadilly
  • Hourly Manchester Airport – Blackpool North via Wigan

Liverpool – Blackpool

  • Hourly through service between Liverpool and Blackpool North restored

Preston to Ormskirk

  • Regular hourly weekday service will be introduced between Preston and Ormskirk

The following services will see alterations:

  • Blackpool South – Preston – Colne service split, with hourly Blackpool South – Preston and hourly Preston – Colne services
  • Blackpool North – York service will be curtailed to operate Preston – Leeds


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