Helmshore Station

(Photos 1-2 © JoanneP, photos 3-6 © Keith Till)

Built in stages by the East Lancashire Railway, Helmshore Station opened for business on 17th August 1848 and was finally completed 11 years later. It was an unpretentious outpost with main buildings on the northbound platform; passengers heading south to Bury and Manchester had to make do with more humble facilities. In 1922, 17 northbound and 18 southbound services stopped at its platforms every weekday, operated by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, by then its owners. DMUs made an appearance in the 1950s.

A large wooden goods shed was provided to the east of the main lines whilst a footbridge spanned them at the southern end of the station. Here, they crossed Helmshore Road on the level, the gates being operated by the signalman from the adjacent box which was squeezed onto a small area of land to its south.

After closure on 5th December 1966, the site was adopted as its base by the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society. This arrangement came to an end in 1972 when the Bury-Rawtenstall line closed - a route deemed to have more potential as a heritage line. The society moved to Bury after which the track was lifted.

All substantial signs of the railway have now gone except for the signal box which has been converted into a home.

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Oct 09

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