Station Name: BOARS HEAD

 

[Source: Cliff Reeves & Paul Wright]



Date opened: 1.12.1869
Location: North side of Wigan Road (A49) at its junction with Chorley Road (A5106)
Company on opening: Lancashire and Yorkshire and Lancashire Union Railway Joint
Date closed to passengers: 31.1.1949
Date closed completely: 31.1.1949
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region
Present state: Demolished, close inspection reveals the stumps of girders sticking out of the ground. These were the legs that supported the signal box. The degraded remains of one platform can be seen.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD577087
Date of visit: 28.5.2006 & 2.6.2007

Notes: Boars Head station was situated on what had evolved at that time into the London & North Western Railways Anglo-Scottish Route (The West Coast Main Line) at a point where the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company and the Lancashire Union Railways Joint line from Rawlinson Bridge formed a junction.

Boars Head Station was opened one month after the Joint Line began operating goods services. Other stations opened at Red Rock,and White Bear. The Joint line was constructed because Wigan coal owners wanted better transportation links to the mills and factories of North East Lancashire. The Coal Owners also wanted a line that could provide direct access to Garston Dock where shipping charges were far less than at Liverpool docks.

Boars Head was provided with four platform faces. Two served the main line and two the Joint line. Between the two lines and the junction stood the main station build, a two story stone built affair that stood on what effectively was an island platform which served the southbound main line and the northbound Joint line. All platforms were connected by a footbridge at the South end of the station. Slopes connected the station to Wigan Lane which crossed the line by an overbridge. Single story waiting facilities were provided on the northbound main line and the southbound Joint line. A signalbox that controlled the Junction was located on the island platform south of the main station building.

The Joint line passed to L&Y and L&NWR ownership on 1st October 1883 and came under sole ownership of the L&NWR on 1.1.1922 before passing to the LMS in 1923.

Under the ownership of British Railways Boars Head station survived for only 13 months, closing on 31st January 1949 and it was demolished soon after closure. The signal box remained as the Joint line continued in use for passenger services to Chorley until 1960 and for goods services up until 5 October 1971 when it closed completely. A 1974 Ordinance Survey map of the area shows that the joint line had become a single track during its final years.  The signal box was closed and demolished when the West Coast Main Line was electrified in the early 1970's.

Today, there is no sign of a station ever having existed, apart from the four steel girder stumps of the former signal box, which can be found hidden amongst the thick vegetation and bushes and a degraded platform on the main line. The main line being part of the West Coast Main Line is still extremely busy with services between London and Scotland and other more local traffic.

Sources: Townley, Smith & Peden, 'The Industrial Railways Of The Wigan Coalfield' (Runpast Publications), Bob Pixton, 'Main Line Railways Around Wigan', (Runpast Publications)

See also Red Rock & White Bear


Boars Head Station in the 1930's



The site of Boars Head Station in 1971 - only the signal box remains
Photo received from Cliff Reeves


Boars Head Station in May 2006 - the degraded remains of the platform can be seen on the left
P
hoto by Bevan Price

The site of Boars Head Station and junction in June 2007, taken from a similar viewpoint
to the 1930's picture
P
hoto by Cliff Reeves


Click on thumbnail to enlarge


 

 

 

[Source: Cliff Reeves & Paul Wright]


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