Blackpool North Station

Project Outline 

The works at Blackpool North Station are part of Network Rail's 'Great North Rail Project' between Preston and Blackpool. The scope of works involved demolishing two platforms, 7 and 8, and the remodelling of platforms 1 to 6. This work was to allow for the realignment of the tracks to enable the installation of overhead line equipment (OLE) foundations for the OLE gantries. The upgrade will provide passengers with a cleaner, greener, quieter and more reliable railway.

Key Challenges

1,500km of new platform was installed in a very tight timescale during winter months to meet the Christmas deadline, however the high water table and severe weather created very poor ground conditions. To combat this, Murphy installed a permanent solution by using 6G in areas of soft spots to firm up the ground and create a safer working area. This, together with working collaboratively with the other contractors on site, enabled the Christmas milestone to be met. During the course of the works, 400m of asbestos ducting was discovered on several platforms. Working with specialist contractors, the hazardous material was removed in a controlled and safe manner.

Project Delivery & Innovations

Works started on site in July 2017 with the Murphy team beginning to demolish platforms 7 & 8 and remodel platforms 1 & 2. This minimised the number of live platforms available for use. To keep the station running, the team introduced adjacent line open controls ensuring the works could continue without issue and on schedule. In November 2017, the project stepped into an 18 week blockade to allow for the major civils works on the remainder of the platforms to take place. This included the removal of 50,000 tonnes of spoil and hardcore materials from site. Over 1,200 pre-cast concrete riser wall units were installed, weighing over 2 tonnes per unit, as well as innovative all in one copper and tactile units, reducing installation time which was vital to meet the key milestones. 

This vital upgrade is part of the government's biggest investment in the network since Victorian times and will mean more seats, better connections, and more reliable journeys for rail passengers. We recognise there will be temporary disruption, but the benefits for passengers will be significant when complete. We are investing billions of pounds in transport across the region and I am delighted that this project is on track to deliver what passengers have told us they want to see - Jesse Norman, Transport Minister.


Network Rail


Blackpool, Lancashire

Completion Date

March 2018



The upgrade of the line between Preston and Blackpool is the largest rail investment in the area since the 19th century. It will enable greener, quieter and more reliable train services. - Martin Frobisher London North Western Route Managing Director, Network Rail

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