Station Name: ASTLEY


[Source: Bevan Price & Paul Wright]

Date opened: 1844/5
Location: At the end of Rindle Road on the west side of the level crossing.
Company on opening: Liverpool and Manchester Railway
Date closed to passengers: 7.7.1958
Date closed completely: 7.7.1958
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished. In 1972 a signal box was built on site of westbound platform.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SJ704973
Date of visit: 20.7.2000

Notes: Astley was situated on George Stephenson's 1830 Liverpool and Manchester Railway the world's first railway to cater for passengers as one of its primary functions. It was also arguably the worlds first inter city railway. When the line first opened on the 15th September 1830 no details exist of the initial intermediate stops and Walkers accurate description of the line at the time of opening says that fares for intermediate stops had not been settled implying that initially there might not have been any stops.

The earliest known company timetable is 1st March 1831, this did not show times at intermediate stops but did list stops in fare tables. The company minutes of 26th September 1832 did give a full list but no further list was given until January 1846.

There were many early changes of stopping place and name so the early history of intermediate stops is patchy. At first trains stops at, for example, level crossings where the gatekeeper issued tickets; perhaps a room in his cottage was available as a shelter. In 1841 platforms and nameboards were added to stations lacking them. Many of the stations consisted of little more than a basic cottage.

Astley opened in the middle years of the 1840's and by the end of the 19th Century it had been developed into a two platform station with wooden booking and waiting facilities on the Manchester platform. The station was located on the west side of a level crossing on the famous Chat Moss which had been crossed by Stephenson in 1830 by floating the line on a bed of branches and vegetation on which an embankment was constructed.

From the beginning the station would have been served by local trains running between the two cities or on shorted journeys. A steady stream of express and goods services would have passed through.

The 1830 Liverpool to Manchester line is still a busy railway but over the years many of its intermediate stations, including Astley have closed to passengers. Astley was closed on the on 7.5.1956.

Former railway houses adjacent to the level crossing are still in existence. Today a signal box dating from 1972 stands on the site of the westbound platform. An earlier signal box had stood on the east side of the level crossing.

Click here for a detailed history of the Edge Hill cutting and tunnels, including pictures inside the 1829 Crown Street Tunnel

Further reading: Liverpool & Manchester Railway Operations 1831 - 1845 by Thomas J Donaghy
David & Charles 1972 ISBN 0 71535705 0

To see the other closed stations on the Liverpool & Manchester Railway click on the station name: Liverpool Crown Street, Huyton Quarry, Lea Green, Collins Green, Parkside 1st, Parkside 2nd, Kenyon Junction, Glazebury and Bury Lane, Flow Moss, Lambs Cottage, Barton Moss 1st, Barton Moss 2nd, Weaste, Seedley, Cross Lane, Ordsall Lane, Manchester Liverpool Road


Astley Station (unknown date)
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

The site of Astley Station in July 2000. The signalman's car is parked on the east end of the eastbound platform site.
Photo by Bevan Price

Astley Station looking west in 1956




Click on thumbnail to enlarge




[Source: Bevan Price & Paul Wright]

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