its heyday, the line to Blackpool was responsible for a huge proportion of
the traffic through Preston, as the population of numerous northern towns
headed for the seaside in their annual "wakes" weeks. Much of
the line was quadrupled during this period and as many as 6 lines were in
use on the approaches to Preston. In the Cotty Brook area of Preston for
instance, there are three double spans crossing roads there, but only one
is now in use carrying the double track.
1840, the Preston & Wyre Railway & Harbour Company opened its line
from Fleetwood to its own terminus in Maudlands, with a connecting line to
the south. In 1846, branches were added from Kirkham to Lytham and Poulton
to Blackpool. By 1849, the L&NWR and L&YR had taken joint control
of the line which continued to grow in importance as Blackpool became the
North West's premier holiday destination. 1889 saw the quadrupling of the
line as far as Kirkham, by which time the old station in Maudlands had
closed in favour of the main station. In 1902, the two new platforms
were opened on the west side of the station (now closed to the public),
which were largely used for Blackpool traffic.
the line retains a healthy level of traffic, with regular trains from
Manchester, Manchester Airport and further afield.
photo shows where the lines diverge, north of the station.
Lane, Lea - not far from the site of Lea Station
photo (c) I Billington