Train passengers in Lancashire are facing disruption for up to 20 months as work begins next week to electrify the line between Preston and Blackpool.
Early morning and late evening services will be affected, with shuttle buses in operation, as Network Rail brings the line up to date as part of a £1bn programme to modernise the railway in the North.
The work is set to start on Monday and continue until May 2018. Passengers are advised to check their journey times before they travel.
“We are working closely with Northern and Virgin Trains to minimise the disruption to passengers and raise awareness of these changes to morning and evening services,” said Alison Rowley, programme manager for Network Rail.
“There is never a good time to affect journeys, but e have planned the work to affect the least amount of passengers for the shortest amount of time. This is essential work and I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their understanding.”
In the early morning bus services will be in operation before the 05.39 train from Blackpool to Preston (Tuesday to Friday). In the evenings buses will run after the 22.45 from Blackpool and the 22.19 service from Preston (Tuesday to Friday).
From next Tuesday passengers who use the 05.21 Blackpool North to London Euston service will have to travel by bus to Preston, leaving 24 minutes earlier at 04.57 and calling at Poulton and Kirkham and Wesham, arriving at Preston for the 06.00 service to Euston.
Work being carried out over the next 20 months includes replacing more than seven miles of track, improvements to signals and track layout and the remodelling of both Kirkham and Wesham and Blackpool North stations.