Station Name: CHEQUERBENT (1st Site)

[Source: Paul Wright & Bevan Price]

Date opened: Line opened 18.6.1831 but Chequerbent does not appear in Bradshaw until May 1847 although it is shown in Huish List * in mid 1846.
Location: A6, Manchester Road. (Probably N side, but not confirmed)
Company on opening: Bolton & Leigh Railway.
Date closed to passengers: 2.2.1885
Date closed completely: 2.2.1885
Company on closing: London & North Western Railway
Present state: Demolished
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD674061
Date of visit: 25.5.2006

Notes: The first Chequerbent station was situated on the 10½-mile Kenyon Junction and Bolton line. The first section of the single track line was the Bolton & Leigh Railway (B&L) which was the first public railway to open in Lancashire. The line was authorised on 31 March 1825 and ran from the important manufacturing town of Bolton to the Leigh Branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Leigh & Bedford. Engineered by George Stephenson the line opened on 28 August 1828 for goods services only. On 5 May 1826 the Liverpool & Manchester Railway (L&M) was authorised and its route passed through Kenyon which was only 2½ miles to the south of Leigh. Both the L&M and the B&L were keen to have a connection between the two lines and to bring this about a separate company, the Kenyon & Leigh Junction Railway (K&LJR) was created. A 2½-mile connecting line was authorised on 14 May 1829. The L&M opened to passengers on 15 September 1830 and was an immediate success. Less than a year later on 2 June 1831 the K&LJR, opened.

A passenger race day excursion from Bolton to Newton ran over the line on 2 June 1831 and public passenger services began on 13 June 1831.

From the opening of the line in 1828 until it burnt down in 1831 there was a 1-road locomotive shed at Chequerbent.

On 8 August 1845 the B&L, K&LJR and the L&M merged into the GJR. A year later on 16 July 1846 the GJR merged with the L&B to form the London & North Western Railway (LNWR).

Chequerbent first appeared in a public timetable in June 1846.

The station was located on the north side of what became the A6 road. Maps from the period when the station was in-situ show a small building on the east side of the line adjacent to the road. If there was a platform it would have been at ground level and very basic.

The March 1850 timetable showed 7 up and 6 down trains Monday-to-Saturday as shown in the table below. On Sundays there were two trains in each direction.

Up Trains - March 1850 Destination Down Trains - March 1850 Destination
8.34am Bolton Great Moor Street 8.11am Newton
9.58am Bolton Great Moor Street 10.24am Kenyon
11.09am Bolton Great Moor Street 12.49pm Newton
1.54pm Bolton Great Moor Street 3.24pm Newton
4.24pm Bolton Great Moor Street 4.49pm Kenyon
5.31pm Bolton Great Moor Street 6.51pm Newton
8.10pm Bolton Great Moor Street    

Until 1 September 1864 Chequerbent passengers wanting to travel to Manchester had to change at Kenyon Junction but after that date direct services began to run. The services ran via the LNWR Eccles and Wigan line which passed over the former B&L to the south of Atherton. A connection between the two lines had been put in making the Manchester journey possible.

In the 1880s the LNWR doubled the line and carried out other improvements. To the south of Chequerbent station there was a steep descending incline. In just over a mile the line fell by 337ft and when it had opened the incline was rope worked by a 50 horse power stationary steam engine (click here to see the stationary engine on a map). Although locomotive's had started to be used on the incline by the 1880s it was still a formidable obstacle and as part of its improvement works the LNWR decided to ease it through the creation of a deviation.

The deviated line ran to the west of the original line and passed under the A6 road. A new station was provided on the deviation which opened on 2 February 1885. The first Chequerbent station was closed.

Sections of the original line were retained for some years, but transferred to colliery use for the nearby Hulton Collieries Company (Chequerbent Pit) (click here to see the pit on a map) in 1897. The Chequerbent colliery closed in 1927 but the line continued to be used after that date.

The line through Chequerbent closed completely on 6 January 1969 (Pennington Junction - Howe Bridge North having closed 17 June 1963 and Hulton Sidings to Bolton Crook Street having closed 16 October 1967).

Route map by Alan Young.

See also: The Bolton & Leigh Railway

To see the other stations on the Bolton Great Moor Street - Kenyon Junction line click on the station name: Kenyon Junction, Pennington,  West Leigh
Atherton Bag LaneChequerbent for Hulton ParkDaubhill 1st
Rumworth & Daubhill
 & Bolton Great Moor Street

The site of the first Chequerbent station looking north-east from A6 road in January 1990.
Photo by John Mann

The original alignment is still clearly shown on this 1947 map with the line
running over Manchester Road.

The first Chequerbent station shown on a 6-inch scale map from 1846.

The first Chequerbent station shown on a 25-inch scale map from 1892. The station had closed by this time and its replacement can be seen to left.

The first Chequerbent station site looking north-east from A6 road in May 2006.
Photo by Bevan Price

Looking south from the A6 along the original alignment of the Bolton & Leigh Railway in May 2006.
Photo by Bevan Price




[Source: Paul Wright & Bevan Price]

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