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Lancashire
Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Trams return to Blackpool’s train station for the first time in 60 years

Passenger trams have linked up with Blackpool’s main train station for the first time in more than six decades.

The opening of a 600m track extension connecting the current Promenade tramway with a new tram stop by Blackpool North train station was celebrated at a special event today.

The first passengers to take the historic trip up Talbot Road won a local prize draw to become the first people to enjoy the journey to the train station since 1963.

Blackpool Transport will run a range of special tours over the coming days, with the route opened up to fare-paying passengers from Sunday.

Once fully open, trams will leave and arrive at the new North Station tram stop roughly every 15 minutes between 5.45am and 11.45pm.

As a general guide, trams going south to Squires Gate will leave on the quarter hours (15 minutes’ past and 45 minutes’ past), with trams going north to Fleetwood Ferry leaving on the hour and half hour, however the timetable will be adjusted based on need. These routes will work alongside with the mainline tram operation which continues to run between Starr Gate and Fleetwood between5am and 11pm.

To support the additional journeys created by the extension, two new Flexity-2 trams have been added to the running stock.

The new Blackpool North tram stop sits alongside the Holiday Inn hotel and Marco Pierre White restaurant, which opened in May, while passengers can walk through to Blackpool North train station via a new underpass. A range of retail units surround the new tram stop and underpass.

More than two million passengers will use Blackpool North train station each year, while Blackpool itself welcomed 20 million visitors in 2022. The extension and new tram stop form part of the Talbot Gateway area with the tram offering an extended commuting route for workers as well as a tourism route.

The £23m tramway extension was funded by Blackpool Council and received £16.4m from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal funding.

Jane Cole, managing director of Blackpool Transport Services, said: “I am thrilled to witness this momentous occasion, which not only enhances our transportation network but also contributes to the economic and cultural revival of our beloved town and the 20 million visitors that we proudly serve.”

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