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Discuss the latest Preston news storiesenThu, 27 Apr 2017 22:30:30 GMTvBulletin9http://www.pne-online.net/forum/pneonline-vb4/misc/rss.pngPNE-Online - Local News
Return of direct Preston to Southport trains?
Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:19:49 GMTSince Dr Beeching’s scandalous report getting from Preston to Southport by rail has involved either a train to Wigan or Burscough, a walk to the...Since Dr Beeching’s scandalous report getting from Preston to Southport by rail has involved either a train to Wigan or Burscough, a walk to the towns' other station and a second train. A pretty lengthy and costly undertaking as is the £7/1 hour bus.
However the West Lancs line which took in Preston, Penwortham, New Longton, Longton, Much Hoole, Hesketh Bank, Banks and Southport (how busy would that line be now! :( ) and is far beyond recovery wasn't the only way to get a direct train from Preston to the seaside resort. North and South of Burscough were two 'curves', 1/2 mile length of tracks which linked the Preston-Ormskirk & Wigan Walgate-Southport lines meaning Southport could be reached directly from Preston and Ormskirk. Whilst the West Lancs line was torn up by Beeching due to lack of usage the Burscough curves removal was a deliberate act to promote road and bus usage.
Campaigners have tried for years to have these curves reinstated and now government transport minister Chris Grayling has stated this could be a possibility during a recent visit to Southport. Describing the move as a 'quick win' (which given both curves are still unbuilt upon and could be re-laid in weeks is certainly the case) Grayling stated he will be looking into the move closely as part of his plan to reconnect areas using old railway lines. Current LCC transport & highways councillor John Fillis has stated he has no interest in connecting Preston with Southport and is more involved with plans to make travel between West Lancashire and his native Liverpool easier with the rebuilding of the St Helens to Skem line so involvement from Grayling would hopefully see him overruled.
This would be a fantastic and very effective move, especially if coupled with the return of Midge Hall station. The traffic taken off the A59 at both ends would be considerable and travel time would be almost halved with Croston and Rufford also directly linked to Southport as a result.