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Blackpool Central was the largest railway station in the town of Blackpoolmarker in the county of Lancashiremarker, England. When it closed in 1964, it became the largest station ever to close, comprising 14 platforms. Principal railway services to Blackpool now terminate at Blackpool Northmarker station.


The station opened on 6 April 1863 as "Hounds Hill" and was renamed "Blackpool Central" in 1878. Initially, it was a relatively small town centre terminus for an isolated line running along the south Fylde coast from Lythammarker. In 1874 this line was connected to another branch from Lytham to Kirkhammarker, allowing through trains from Prestonmarker and beyond. In 1901, the station was enlarged to include 14 platforms—the same number of platforms as London'smarker busy Paddingtonmarker terminus in 2006. A further development came in 1903 when an additional “Marton Line” was added, routed directly from Preston and considerably shorter and quicker. This arrangement made for very convenient and direct access to Blackpool's town centre, particularly the sea front and Blackpool Towermarker.

Central Station was the focus of Blackpool's worst incident during World War II. Blackpool was home base for a major flight training centre and a fighter squadron during the war. On 27 August 1941, two aircraft—a Blackburn Botha trainer and a Boulton Paul Defiant fighter—collided in midair over the sea, just off Blackpool's central seafront. The debris from the collision was strewn over a large area but a large part of it struck Central Station, causing severe damage and killing twelve people.

The station remained in service just long enough to see its centenary before sudden closure on 2 November 1964 as a consequence of the Beeching Axe. Part of the building was used as a bingo hall until 1973, at which point all buildings were demolished. The direct “Marton” line from Preston (which also passed through Blackpool Southmarker station) was closed in 1967, leaving a large tract of wasteland along with disused embankments and bridges.

Current use of the site

The land reclaimed from the station buildings became the location of some sea front amusement arcades (Coral Island), a new police station and a multi-storey car park with some residual spare land used as additional flat car parking space. In the late 1980s, the derelict track bed of the central railway line was adapted into a road, Yeadon Way, connecting the town centre with the M55 motorway. This road terminates at Blackpool Central Car Park, based at the site of the former platform ends and approach tracks . The main claim to fame for this area is where the Blackpool Illuminationsmarker are ceremonially switched on here with a large party and often local and national radio coverage. The very outer wall of the car park is the last visible remnant of the 1900 build. Traces of the tarmac platforms can be seen in the ground of the Central car park.

A large part of the sidings and other land formerly belonging to British Rail were converted into a car park at about the same time as the road was completed. The toilets at the end near the promenade were all that remained of the station until they were demolished in 2009. Some of this land was used to create George Bancroft Parkmarker in 2006.


  1. Welch, p.32
  2. Suggitt, p.44
  3. Welch, p.26
  4. Commonwealth War Graves Commission Civilian War Dead Register - Blackpool County Borough
  5. Suggitt, p.46


  • Suggitt, G. (2003, revised 2004) Lost Railways of Lancashire, Countryside Books, Newbury, ISBN 1 85306 801 2
  • Welch, M.S. (2004) Lancashire Steam Finale, Runpast Publishing, Cheltenham, ISBN 1 870754 61 1

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