Preston Station - Past & Present

pic2In 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.

In 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.

Today, the line retains a healthy level of traffic, with regular trains from Manchester, Manchester Airport and further afield. 

This aerial photo shows where the lines diverge, north of the station.

Darkinson Lane, Lea - not far from the site of Lea Station
photo (c) I Billington