Preston Station - Past & Present

Mike would like to hear from anyone involved with the remodelling and resignalling of the station and surrounding area to aid historical research for future documentation, please contact via the Feedback page.

2. Project Approval & Planning
3. The Work at Preston
4. Signalling & Power Box Commissioning
5. Electrification, Catenary & Electricity Supply
6. Delays
7. Locomotives
8. Media
9. It's Official!
9. It's Official
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visited Preston on Tuesday the 7th May 1974 to unveil a plaque on the new platform 4 at Preston the half way point between London and Glasgow, which bears testament to the complex project encompassing so much civil engineering, technology, innovation and planning that made it all happen.

The party then went on a royal ‘Trip’ working to the Preston Power box, where a small temporary platform had been erected.

It may seem that economics drive everything today but some things never change, here is a quote from the Railway Gazette April 1970:

Main line electrification in Britain has suffered a year gap in continuity of work because the early 25Kv 50c/s schemes were too expensive compared with diesel traction. To get authority for the extension from Weaver Junction to Glasgow, it was necessary to refine designs and pare away unnecessary frills to the point where the real cost of electrification was virtually halved.

Because their job depended on it, BR’s electric traction engineers have moved a long way from the days when every track sectioning cabin between London and Southend had to have a lavatory (often at inordinate cost) for the benefit of the maintenance men making routine fortnightly visits.

I think it is fair to say that the electrification and re-signalling revitalised the railways in this area, especially for business travel. Had the electrification not happened and diesel traction being the only option the quality of service would certainly have been different.

It is also interesting to note that right from the outset that Blackpool to Manchester was identified as requiring electrification as the next major project, but we will need to wait and see if that does in fact happen.

Preston was chosen as it is the halfway point on the route from London to Glasgow, the plaque is mounted on one of the catenary stanchions opposite the waiting room on platform 4. pic1