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Rawtenstall railway station

Rawtenstall railway station in 2007
Place Rawtenstall
Area Lancashire
Grid reference
Managed by East Lancashire Railway
Platforms 2
Key dates Opened 1846
Closed 1980
Reopened 1991
Stations on heritage railways in the United Kingdom
UK Railways portal

Rawtenstall railway station serves the town of Rawtenstall in Lancashire, England, and is the northern terminus of the East Lancashire Railway.

It was formerly on the national railway network on the line to Bacup as well as Bury and Manchester.

The Association of Train Operating Companies have identified that the community of Rawtenstall on the East Lancashire Railway Heritage Railway could benefit from services connecting the station to the National Network.[1][2]


  • History 1
  • The railway station today 2
  • Services 3
  • References 4


The current railway station opened in 1846 as part of a line from Clifton Junction built by the East Lancashire Railway (later incorporated into the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway). The line reached Waterfoot in 1848 and Bacup in 1852.

For most of its life the station was on a through route for passenger services between Manchester and Bacup via Bury. After being listed for closure under the Beeching Axe passenger and goods services to Bacup were withdrawn on 3 December 1966 (up to the last day services were regular at least every half an hour, every fifteen minutes at peak times and on Saturdays) and passenger services to Bury on 3 June 1972. The station itself was closed in 1980 when a regular coal train was withdrawn by British Rail. The station was then rescued and saved in 1987 by the 'then newly re-opened' East Lancashire Railway.

The railway station today

The station has been extensively rebuilt by the East Lancashire Railway, as nothing was left of the original buildings at closure. Part of the current station building lies across the former route on towards Bacup. The station has a ticket office and waiting room in the main building. The waiting room contains replicas of an original fireplace and original seats. The waiting room recently went through a restoration project, to make the station as original as possible. The ticket office is in the centre of the station.

Along the platform there is also a small wooden waiting shelter.

There are two platform faces, however only the main one is available for regular passenger services owing to the limitations of the signalling currently provided.

Rawtenstall West signal box survives at the Bury end of the station, next to the gated level crossing. This currently houses the crossing keeper, who works the gates by hand, on the ground. There is no fixed signalling apart from a ground frame to control points for the run-round loop and connection to the second platform, though there is a proposal to install a Manned Barrier Crossing (MCB) in place of the hand-worked gates, which are life expired.

The East Lancashire Railway operates every weekend throughout the year and Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays between Easter and the end of September. It offers a "local residents discount card" but does not claim to offer a true public transport facility.


Preceding station Heritage Railways  Heritage railways Following station
Irwell Vale   East Lancashire Railway   Terminus
Disused railways
Ewood Bridge and Edenfield   Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Rawtenstall to Bacup Line
  Clough Fold


  • Lost Railways of Lancashire by Gordon Suggitt (ISBN 1-85306-801-2)
  1. ^ "BBC NEWS - England - Operators call for new rail lines". BBC News. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  2. ^  

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