Northern Rail, or whatever they’re known as via the convoluted railway ownership mechanism we have in the UK, have finally after much promising, started the renovation work on Platform 4 at Blackburn Train Station.
The exact details of what they are going to do is a more closely guarded secret than an electricity unit price or the nuclear launch codes at this time but i’ll attempt to find out.
Update: since posting, I discovered this article on Lancashire Evening Telegraph’s site which has an artists impression and tells us it is costing, cough, £1.7million
Quite why we need 4 platforms at Blackburn Train Station is beyond me, they could make do with the 3 we already have.
The renovation works are expected to go on for some time, and as you can see from the photo, they’ve blocked it off but no signs of workpersons.
In some ways this will be a well sent break from the icy exposure of the old platform 4 which if you were going to Preston, Blackpool or Manchester you’d generally have to wait on, that is, if you could get on the platform through the badly thought out temporary ticket check barrier they put down there at peak times.
In my opinion, Blackburn train station is very badly thought out, information screens are the old 21 inch type that are placed so high up, even well sighted people struggle to see them. The main ticket office is on platform 2, it has two kiosk windows but rarely both operate simultaneously – the picture below is an all too often occurrence and worst, the lack of announcements for delayed trains or platform alterations for those using Platform 4.
I wait with anticipation to see what improvements they come up with but for me, they could scrap platform 4 altogether, save the money they’ll spend on renovation to put new display screens in, pay for staff to operate both kiosk windows at peak times, move the automated ticket machine and re-organise the temporary barrier so you don’t get crushed when people are getting off the train and not increase fares by 13% again in January.