Blackburn Festival Information

Having been recently refurbished Blackburn Station is an impressive facility for a town of this size. It has four different platforms and a staffed ticket office.

It has one car park and step-free access is available. The station is also served by buses. There is an interesting artwork by Stephen Charnock on platform 4. It features a stainless steel screen with the faces of people important to the history of Blackburn.

Platform 1

The main entrance to Blackburn Station is on Railway Road, at the south-eastern end of the town centre. There is a taxi rank outside the front of the station building, and a bus interchange is situated just to the north of it.

Blackburn is served by Northern Trains services from Manchester Victoria via Accrington and Burnley. As of 17 May 2015, these run hourly during the week, including Sundays. In the near future, electrification of the line will allow direct services to be introduced from Blackburn to Manchester Airport via Hebden Bridge and Colne (via the reopened Ribble Valley Line), and as far east as Leeds on the Caldervale Line.

Platform 1 is a island platform, and is served by trains from the reopened Ribble Valley Line from Clitheroe in the north, through Blackburn to Darwen and Bolton, and terminating at Manchester Victoria. A bay platform, Platform 3, serves trains to Manchester and Chorley via Wigan Wallgate.

The station is a short walk from Blackburn Cathedral, the town’s historic central business district, and many shops. There is also an abundance of public transport options, including a town shuttle bus, and a tram stop right next to the station. The station is also home to a piece of public artwork, designed by Stephen Charnock, depicting Blackburn’s industrial heritage.

Platform 2

Blackburn station is located on Railway Road to the southeast of the town centre in Lancashire. It is the only mainline station in Blackburn, and is managed by Northern Rail. It is served by the East Lancashire Line and Caldervale Line, with trains traveling to Manchester Victoria, Blackpool North, and York.

The station opened in 1846 as part of the Blackburn and Preston Railway. Originally, it had one track and was designated as a crossing station, but it later received a second track. In the early 1900s, the Copy Pit line was extended to serve the nearby industrial towns of Burnley and Bolton. The Ribble Valley Line was added a decade later, and services to Clitheroe, Darwen, and Ramsgreave & Wilpshire were added in 1994.

During a refurbishment in 2000, the station was updated to include a new ticket office and improved signage. In addition, a new car park was built. The original entrance, which features an architecturally detailed canopy, was restored and a piece of public artwork by Stephen Charnock was erected.

The train station is open every day that trains run. It opens shortly before the first service arrives and closes after the last train departs. Its staffed ticket office is located on the lower level between platforms 1 and 2. A coffee shop and toilets are also available. Platforms 1 and 2 are accessible via ramps and lifts, while platform 3 is accessed by a separate ramp.

Platform 3

Blackburn was caught up in railway mania when the line opened from Blackburn to Sough on 3rd August 1847 and from Sough to Bolton on Monday 12th June 1848. A special train left the station at 7am carrying eight full carriages of people packed to capacity. The train was hauled by a Hawthorn 0-6-0. By rights they should have been too late for the connecting Chester train to Liverpool, but the brothers bribed the driver to speed things up.

The new station featured two island platforms each with west-facing bays to give seven working faces in total and a spacious overall roof. Local services ran to Manchester and Liverpool Exchange via Ormskirk and Southport, while long distance through coaches operated to London Euston (via Blackpool Central and Skipton) well into British Rail days.

When the station was refurbished in 2000, artist Stephen Charnock was invited to create, for Platform 4, a piece of artwork, which became a stainless-steel screen featuring portraits of people important to Blackburn’s history. The screen also contains a timeline of the town’s growth. For decades, the platform was sheltered beneath large train sheds, but they were removed as part of the revamp.

The platforms are fully electrified and the track has a substantial length, so it could take a classic compatible High Speed Two train. However, this is unlikely to happen any time soon, since the Huncoat Tunnel is still under construction and there are no plans to electrify the route between Blackburn and Bolton.

Car park

If you want to avoid parking issues at Blackburn, there are a number of other ways to get to the festival. The fastest, easiest, and most headache free way to attend is to arrive via MARTA on the Gold Line to the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe Station and park in the MARTA lot. Shuttles will be available to transport you directly from the MARTA lot to the festival each day.

There is a state-of-the-art bus station on Ainsworth Street in Blackburn town centre, and the main railway station serves passengers with trains to York in 2h 3m, Rochdale in 1h 12m, and Preston in 24m. You can also get to Blackburn easily by car – it’s a short drive from the M6 and M65 motorways.

Once you’re here, there are so many things to see and do. The town centre has amazing independent shops like Ainsworths Jewellers, Bat Cave Comics and Collectibles, Geek Retreat, Edmondsons Furniture, Hobkirks Sewing Machines, Eve Lingerie, Moorey’s Health Store, Outdoor Action clothing and equipment, Pelle Menswear and more!

You’ll find plenty of restaurants and cafes, too. And if you’re looking for some entertainment, King George’s Hall is home to big names in music and comedy – from Liam Gallagher and Florence and the Machine to Josh Widdecombe and Jason Manford. There’s even a great selection of family-friendly events in the area.

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