Things are starting to move forward at Squires Gate Station on the South Fylde Line. There were floral tubs wonderfully tended to this year, starting with daffodils then later with a colourful display of Gazanias, Begonia and more.
So as you may of gathered this is a calling for anyone with a few moments spare - as and when to help build the Friends of Squires Gate Station.
At it's peak this line ran all the way to Blackpool Central station serving millions of holiday makers headed for the Golden Mile, closed in 1964.
Now only a single track the line halts at Blackpool South Station at Waterloo Rd nr Aldi and served by a train per hour-ish stops at six other stations along the run to Kirkham & Wesham Station that joins the Blackpool North line on to Preston.
A busy station for it's type and expected to become busier with the prospect of investment on the Blackpool Airport area, a government enterprise zone.
The Future of the South Fylde Line
If you love your trams there is a campaign to convert the line to light rail / trams that connect to the Blackpool tram system near the Pleasure Beach. However this is in it's infancy - positive steps are moving in this direction as it is recognised the line does need better transport links especially with the projected growth of the area.
Great news for train lovers, Network Rail have it in their sights to put a short section of doubled track thus two trains may pass on the single line system. With this in mind new routes may open the line up to further improvements and potential benefiting the local communities and passengers overall.
In 2008 The South Fylde Line was identified as a secondary branch line within Network Rail’s cross-Pennine, Yorks and Humber and north west strategic route plan.
Part of the improvements was to reduce to burden of cost to the tax payer on funding this section. Improvements to ticketing and revenue, trains, stations and access was identified.
Develop with partners a Marketing Plan for the line with a permanent goal in mind.
In my opinion considering many regard this service as the 'Forgotten Line', it has such a bright future waiting in the 'sidings of progress'. Personally it's not just for the local authorities to join with the rail authorities to champion the line, it's also down to the rail user and rail beneficiaries like Blackpool Pleasure Beach and other businesses along this important secondary branch line to pay some attention also - as I'm sure they will.
The line to watch dare I say?