by Chris Littleworth with Noel Coates, Ron Herbert and Mike Norris

This book is a commemoration and celebration of railway operation in the age of mechanical signalling and it marks the end of traditional signalling on the line from Preston to Blackpool.

Blackpool was the destination of choice for the working classes of the industrial north west and the growth in traffic from the mid-Victorian period to the second World War was quite extraordinary. Noel Coates describes the history of the line, its traffic patterns, and the exponential increase in excursion traffic.

In the final phase of mechanical signalling, five boxes remained in use, including the iconic Blackpool North No.2. Chris Littleworth describes each of them in depth.

By the 1890s, Poulton had become a major bottle neck and its junction included a potentially dangerous curve. Chris Littleworth explains how the L&YR rebuilt the junction with a completely new station which both increased line capacity and removed the dangerous curve.

The post-war period saw increasing competition from motor coaches, private cars, and the attraction of holidays abroad. This period of rationalisation is fully described by Mike Norris. 

In the 1960s the line came under the auspices of Preston Control, and this period is described in fascinating detail by Ron Herbert, who worked in the control office at the time.

Finally, Chris Littleworth describes the Fylde line of the future, after Network Rail's 2018 modernisation is complete.

This entertaining and authoritative book is copiously illustrated with over 300 photographs, maps and diagrams. 

  • A4 format
  • 192 pages
  • Hardback
  • ISBN 978-0-955467-8-3
  • Price includes UK postage
  • For international postage follow the instructions on the Book Shop page