Station Name: CHEQUERBENT FOR HULTON PARK

[Source: Paul Wright & Bevan Price]

Date opened: 2.2.1885
Location: North side of Manchester Road (A6).
Company on opening: London & North Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 3.2.1952
Date closed completely: 27.2.1965
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished. Cutting partly filled.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD674061
Date of visit: 25.5.2006

Notes: The second Chequerbent station was part of the 10½-mile Kenyon Junction – Bolton Great Moor Street line. It was on deviation from the original line that opened on 2 February 1885. The original line though Chequerbent had been built by the Bolton & Leigh Railway (B&L) and it was the first public railway to open in Lancashire. The single-track 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 and 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 south of Leigh. Both the L&M and the B&L was 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. Regular passenger services were run on the line from 13 June 1831. The line became part of the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) on 16 July 1846.

A passenger station was opened at Chequerbent in 1846 on the original line.

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. Although locomotives had started to be used on the incline by the 1850s it was still a formidable obstacle and as part of a package of improvement works authorised in 1878 the LNWR decided to ease it through the creation of a deviation. The works also included doubling of the original route.

The deviated line ran to the west of the original route and passed under what is now the A6 road (the original line crossed it on the level). A new station was required and it was located on the north side of the road in a cutting.

At street level on the east side of the line there was a single-storey building in which the booking office was situated. A covered footbridge linked the booking office to both the up (Bolton direction) and the down (Kenyon Junction direction) platform. Both platforms were provided with timber built waiting rooms that had awnings.

The second Chequerbent station had goods facilities. They were located north of the passenger station on the west side of the line. They included a goods shed, a loading platform, weighing machine and three sidings. The goods facilities were accessed from a driveway that connected to the A6 road on the west side of the line.

The December 1895 timetable showed eight up and ten down weekday services. There was no service on Sunday.

The 1904 Handbook of Stations listed Chequerbent as being able to handle public goods, parcels, livestock and horse boxes.

On 1 January 1923 the LNWR was merged with other companies to form the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS).

From 1930 the LMS timetables showed the station as Chequerbent for Hulton Park.

The LMS summer timetable for 1932 showed 15 up and 16 down Monday-to-Friday trains. On Saturday there was an extra up train.

During the Second World War passenger services were reduced and they never returned to their 1930s levels. The LMS summer timetable for 1947 showed 7 up and 8 down trains on Monday-to-Friday as seen in the table below. On Saturday there were 2 extra up and 1 extra down train.

Up Trains - Summer 1947 Destination Down Trains - Summer 1947 Destination
7.01am Bolton Great Moor Street 6.54am Kenyon Junction
8.22am Bolton Great Moor Street 7.36am Kenyon Junction
12.51pm (Saturday Only) Bolton Great Moor Street 8.29am Warrington Bank Quay
1.41pm Bolton Great Moor Street 12.08pm (Saturday Only) Kenyon Junction
4.48pm Bolton Great Moor Street 1.58pm Kenyon Junction
5.44pm Bolton Great Moor Street 4.29pm Kenyon Junction
6.17pm Bolton Great Moor Street 5.13pm Kenyon Junction
7.35pm Bolton Great Moor Street 6.11pm Kenyon Junction
9.29pm (Saturday Only) Bolton Great Moor Street 8.38pm Kenyon Junction

In the 1940s the original platform buildings were demolished and replaced with simple shed like waiting shelters.

On 1 January 1948 the line became part of British Railways [London Midland Region] (BR[LMR]).

The summer 1949 timetable showed 5 up and 6 down trains Momday-to-Friday. On Saturdays there were 8 up and 11 down trains.

BR[LMR] closed Chequerbent to passengers on 3 February 1952. They withdrew the Kenyon Junction and Bolton Great Moor Street service completely on 29 March 1954.

The goods facilities remained in use and the RCH 1956 Handbook of Stations listed Chequerbent for Hulton Park as being able to handle general goods and livestock.

On 17 June 1963 the line between Pennington and Howe Bridge North Junction closed completely; thereafter trains could reach Chequerbent only via the Wigan – Eccles line. Chequerbent was closed completely on 27 February 1965.

On 16 October 1967 the line through Chequerbent closed completely (between a point just to the north of Atherton Bag Lane and Bolton Crook Street). It was lifted shorty after and the station was demolished. The cutting in which the passenger station had stood was partly infilled after closure.

Tickets from Michael Stewart and route map by Alan Young.

Sources:

  • A Lancashire Triangle Part 2 - D J Sweeney, Triangle Publishing 1997.
  • A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain - Volume 10 The North West - Geoffrey O Holt, David & Charles 1986.
  • Forgotten Railways - North West England - John Marshall, David & Charles 1981.
  • Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain - A Chronology, by M Quick, RCHS 2009.

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,
Atherleigh
, Atherton Bag Lane, Chequerbent 1st, Daubhill 1st,
Rumworth & Daubhill
& Bolton Great Moor Street


Chequerbent station looking north-east along the down platform in the 1940s. The original platform level station buildings were being demolished and the platforms were being rebuilt.




The second Chequerbent station shown on a 25-inch scale map from 1892. The second station had a large goods yard which is shown on the map.

The second Chequerbent station shown on a 25-inch scale map from 1936.


Chequerbent station shown on a 1940s road map.


Chequerbent station looking south from the up platform in 1954.
Photo received from Steven Buckley


The site of the second Chequerbent station looking north-east in April 1978.

Looking north from Manchester Road bridge parapet to the Chequerbent station site in May 2006. The station & trackbed were in a cutting, now obscured by the vegetation on the left side of the photo.
Photo by Bevan Price

Click on thumbnail to enlarge

 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright & Bevan Price]


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