THIS is the first look at how Blackburn's railway station will look when a £1.7million project to install a roof over platform four is completed.

Network Rail released the artist impression as staff staged two public consultations yesterday.

The platform was left uncovered in a £5million refurbishment of the station 10 years ago as it was not intended to be used frequently.

But it has since become one of the busiest areas as it now serves both the Preston and Manchester services.

It means that passengers have often been stranded in the rain.

In addition to the roof other work carried out will include:

* construction of a lift to serve platform four
* installation of windbreaks
* a public address system, passenger waiting facilities and seating
* a CCTV system for the area under the new canopy.

Most of the funding for the scheme has come from the Department of Transport, with the remaining £200,000 from Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Alan Howarth, Network Rail’s project sponsor, said: “The changes we are making mean getting to platform four and the time spent on it will be a much more pleasurable part of the journey.”

Work starts on Sunday, May 22 and will take five months.

Mr Howarth added: “During the first couple of weeks our contractor Amco will be carrying out preparatory work such as ground surveys and analysing the results.

“When the work starts in earnest, the first thing we will concentrate on are the subway alterations, building the new lift shaft up to the platform and installing the lift.”