Freak flash floods swamp subway and lifts at Preston station

Passengers are being advised about urgent repairs to Preston station’s lifts and subway after they were damaged by freak flash flooding.

Intense rainfall at platform level made its way into the subway which serves four station lifts on Monday evening (12 July).

All the lift shafts were affected and engineers are working as fast as they can to pump out remaining water and clear the debris so urgent repairs can be made to the lift mechanisms.

Network Rail aims to get the lifts back in action within the next week as a priority for passengers needing level access to platforms.

Step-free access is still available to Preston’s platforms using ramps in the second station subway.

Robert Ellams, senior asset engineer for Network Rail, said: “We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to passengers while we get the lifts at Preston station back up to full working order after heavy rainfall this week.

“I’d urge people to plan their journeys with their train operator while we carry out these urgent and complex repairs to better protect the lifts from freak incidents like this and make them more reliable for passengers in the future.”

Shirley Ross, Avanti West Coast station manager at Preston, said: “We are working closely with Network Rail and industry partners to help customers as urgent repairs to the lifts at Preston station are carried out. Our teams are on hand to assist customers travelling to and from Preston but we strongly recommend customers plan ahead, check before they travel and leave extra time for their journey. We would like to thank customers for their patience while Network Rail get the lifts back to full working order.”

During the lift closures, rail travellers who need lift access are advised to speak to station staff or to contact their train operator’s Passenger Assistance team:

  • Avanti West Coast’s Passenger Assist team – 08000 158 123
  • Northern’s Passenger Assist team – 0800 138 5560
  • TransPennine Express’ Passenger Assist team – 0800 107 2149

For more information on how Network Rail deals with flooding visit:

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