Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Where The Trains Ran To Blackpool

I was doing a bit of scanning last night. In my folders of black and white negatives I've now reached mid 1985.

This one made me go "Wow...!"

Taken from the road bridge on Waterloo Road opposite the site of the South Shore Station featured a couple of entries ago, this shows the route that through trains used to take to arrive at Blackpool Central Station.

The station was demolished in 1964 against the recommendations of the Beeching Report which had recommended closing North Station instead. Blackpool Central Station had more platforms in 1901 than some London Stations in the current century.

The station site itself was replaced by Coral Island, though not until the later 1970s. The space left by the removal of the railway tracks remained largely wasteland until the late 1980s although Blackpool's main police station occupies some of it.

All sorts of rumours floated around Blackpool regarding planned use including Disney's European theme park. That eventually was built on the outskirts of Paris instead.

Almost inevitably the site became a huge car park with the large embankment turned into a link road joining the end of the M55 motorway and channeling cars directly into Blackpool and the car park. To make it seem more like a strategic decision and less like desperation the Corporation gleefully set up ticket machines along the Promenade, bringing to an end decades of free parking for visitors.

Large version of the photo: at my Flickr site

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