Blackpool Train Station
Blackpool Train Station
Before 1974, Blackpool Central Railway Station was based only a few hundred yards further down the Talbot Road. The existence of a railway point, since it first opened in 1846, was crucial to stamping Blackpool on the map as an important port and sea passage town.
Popular in the 18th century with the fashionable set as a it was believed that seaside bathing could cure illness, Blackpool was mainly accessible through stagecoach trips. The building of the railway line increased accessibility for leisure tourists and as a result Blackpool experienced population growth from 500 to 2,500 people by the 1850s.
More links to Poulton, then Preston and Wyre and Lytham caused further visitor booms. Construction of Blackpool’s most famous attractions occurred during the Victoria era, and include; the North Pier, Blackpool Tower, The Winter Gardens, the tramways, The Opera House, the North Promenade and the South Pier. The world famous Illuminations began in 1879.
The Central Railway station had 14 platforms by 1901 and Blackpool’s population had grown to 45,000. It was a lively place. Paddington Railway station in London had the same amount of platforms servicing rail travellers in 2006, in comparison.
Botha-Defiant air crash
During World War II tragedy struck the rail station when two aircraft collided with each other. And hit just off Blackpool’s central seafront. The flotsam and jetsam from the crash included large pieces of aircraft. These landed on the structure of the Blackpool Central Railway Station, killing twelve people.
The station remained functional for several years and was officially closed in 1964, and part of the buildings formed a venue for a large Bingo Hall which was operational until the redevelopment of the site in 1974.
Today the station buildings are part of the Coral Island seafront amusement arcade stands, with a multi-storey car park providing convenient access to Blackpool’s seaside visitors. The site is also the spot where the Blackpool Illuminations are officially switched on every year, as there is lots of space to accommodate the 20,000 plus crowds that gather for this event.
Blackpool North Railway Station has served as the main link to the seaside resort since 1974. The modern exterior and roomy concave interior have earned it the nickname ‘the goldfish bowl’. It is the largest terminus railway station in England, and continues to service millions of passengers every year.