Retired railway manager ALEX GREEN advocates conversion of the Blackpool South branch to light rail as part of a wider package of improvements for the resort

Blackpool has recently enjoyed significant heavy rail investment, in the form of electrification of the line from Preston to Blackpool North. Through Avanti West Coast services from London, Warrington, Wigan and Preston serve the terminus along with Northern trains from Liverpool, Manchester, Bolton, Chorley and Leyland.

Light rail success: a Blackpool tram runs along the promenade in the shadow of the famous tower on 15 May 2019.
Tony Miles

This has left the Blackpool South branch struggling to survive as an isolated diesel route and heavily loss-making. Some commentators, such as Eddie Graves (‘Forum’, September 2019 issue), advocate perpetuating the old diesel train service, when I believe there is a better solution.

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