Line News & Events

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Electrification scheme is delayed

20th August 2015

The Blackpool to Preston and Preston to Manchester Electrification Scheme is delayed due to Balfour Beatty, the contractors, pulling out.

This will have inevitable impacts on rolling stock availability in the North West.

The BBC have today, Thursday 20th August 2015 reported:

A move to electrify the rail line between Preston and Blackpool has been delayed after the main contractor pulled out.

Balfour Beatty confirmed it was leaving the scheme after a review found the work was unlikely to be delivered on time and on budget.

Network Rail said a new contractor would be "appointed shortly".

Gordon Marsden, Labour MP for Blackpool South, described it as a "further blow" to the progress of the project.

Balfour Beatty had worked on two completed phases of electrification to lines in the North West, with five others yet to be finished.

The electrification of the Preston to Blackpool line was scheduled to be completed by May 2016.

Further delay
A Network Rail spokesperson said: "Network Rail has carried out a review to ensure we have the most efficient deployment of resources to deliver the next phases of this key improvement.

By mutual agreement Balfour Beatty will be leaving the partnership delivery of North West electrification. This is the appropriate time following the completion of phase two between Manchester, Liverpool and Wigan.

We will be retaining Balfour Beatty's design services and a new contractor will be appointed shortly."

Mr Marsden said: "It's obviously a further blow to the progress of the electrification, not just in Blackpool but across Lancashire as a whole.

The Blackpool to Preston line has already been delayed once.

We do not know whether the rest of Lancashire will be affected in the way the Transpennine electrification has been affected, which is an indefinite postponement."

In June, it was announced the government would delay or cut back several modernisation projects planned for Network Rail during to rising costs and missed targets.


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