An £8.6m project by Network Rail will see faster, more efficient, rail services at Lancaster.
Currently, northbound trains can only call at platform three at Lancaster railway station, but Network Rail engineers will start work to modify the existing track and signalling, enabling trains from both directions to stop at platform four, as well as platform five when necessary.
Improvements are also expected to be made at Carnforth and Morecambe railway stations and Carnforth Steamtown.
Network Rail programme manager Paul Marshall said: “This particular scheme is part of a £60m programme of improvements at 13 locations on the West Coast Main Line...which will provide faster, more efficient and reliable train services on this vitally important route.”
The work at Lancaster will see the installation of new track and signalling including a mainline crossover – which allows trains to switch between tracks, which Network Rail said would help improve reliability and minimise potential disruption from future engineering and maintenance works.
Playing a key role in the project has been train controller Neil Jolly, who gave up his own time to help design the new improved layout at Lancaster.
Paul added: “Though not actually a member of the project team, Neil’s suggestions have been invaluable in helping us to plan and prepare these multi-million pound improvements.”
On Friday, February 1, Neil and the project team took MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood Eric Ollerenshaw on a tour of the site, with works starting later this month and lasting until May or June.
Mr OIlerenshaw said: “This is part of the government’s continuing investment in improving our railways and will help to deliver a more reliable service through Lancaster.”
Phil Bearpark, production director for Virgin Trains, which operates Lancaster railway station said: “We welcome the new track layout at Lancaster which will considerably reduce the potential for delays to customers by allowing our trains to have greater choice of platforms.”