Preston electric train line plans delayed

train-797072_1280By Jacob Waite – Chief News Reporter

Plans to develop an electric train line between Preston and Blackpool have been delayed after main contractor pulls out.

Balfour Beatty confirmed that it was leaving the scheme after a review discovered the work was unlikely to be finished on time or within budget.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Network Rail has carried out a review to ensure we have the most efficient deployment of resources to deliver the next phases of this key improvement.”

Network Rail added that a new contractor will be “appointed shortly.”

Gordon Marsden, Labour MP for Blackpool South, described the announcement as a “further blow” to the ongoing progress of the project.

Balfour Beatty had worked on two complete phases of electrified lines in the North West, with five other lines yet to be completed.

The plans to electrify the Preston to Blackpool line was initially scheduled for completion by May 2016.

Ryan Ashmore, a UCLan second year who commutes from Blackpool during term time said: “The delay is frustrating because they’ve been looking at ways provide us with ‘faster travel’ for years now, it seems with no success.

“Although, being a commuter we’re used to delays from trains daily so this is no surprise”


Do you regularly commute from Preston to Blackpool, tweet us your thoughts @UCLanPluto


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