Station Name: CORNHOLME

[Source: Alan Young]


Date opened: 7.1878 (first appearance in Bradshaw)
Location: At end of Station Road; railway is still in use
Company on opening: Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway
Date closed to passengers: 26.9.1938
Date closed completely: 26.9.1938
Company on closing: London, Midland & Scottish Railway
Present state:

Demolished

County: Lancashire (now West Yorkshire) – clarified in text
OS Grid Ref: SD913262
Date of visit: October 1977 and July 2016

Notes: The town of Todmorden extends for over two miles up the Yorkshire Calder valley, and this includes the ‘village’ of Cornholme. Although it appears that a station was provided from the opening of the Copy Pit route at Portsmouth, just under a mile to the west, Cornholme station did not open until 1878, and it handled only passenger traffic. Until 1888 Cornholme station was in Lancashire as the county’s border with the West Riding of Yorkshire  passed through the centre of Todmorden; in that year the boundary was adjusted to transfer all of Todmorden’s built-up area, including Cornholme, to the West Riding for administrative purposes, although for postal services Cornholme continued to be considered part of Lancashire.

Cornholme signal box was constructed in 1877, the year before the station opened. It was located on the up side of the tracks and some way up the slope of the cutting, close to the ramp at the Burnley end of the platform. The elevated position of the box on the outside of the tightly curving tracks gave the signalmen a clear view of the tracks in both directions. This timber Saxby & Farmer Type 9 structure was equipped with a 20-lever S&F frame.

Whilst the earlier stations at Holme and Portsmouth both had timber buildings, Cornholme was provided with a stone building towards the west end of the down platform. This was an austere but lofty single-storey structure with rectangular openings and a pitched roof, in which booking and waiting facilities were accommodated. On the opposite platform was an enclosed waiting shed of timber with a hipped roof, similar in appearance to structures at Holme and Portsmouth, and probably an addition to the station in the 1890s or the following decade. Although there was a barrow crossing at the west end of the station, an iron lattice footbridge was provided to connect the two platforms. Gas lighting was installed.

Local trains routinely called at Cornholme. The service was reasonably generous both on weekdays and Sunday, but departures were at irregular intervals, which was a feature of the station’s timetable throughout its life.


Up trains: weekdays
August 1887

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

7.20am

Todmorden

8.17am

Blackburn via Padiham

8.22am

Todmorden

9.52am

Blackpool

10.10am §

Todmorden

10.52am

Accrington

11.37am

Todmorden

12.40pm

Accrington

1.12pm

Todmorden

1.42pm

Preston

3.03pm

Todmorden

4.02pm

Accrington

4.10pm

Todmorden

5.42pm

Preston

6.05pm

Todmorden

6.52pm

Accrington

7.05pm

Todmorden

8.47pm

Preston

9.17pm

Todmorden

10.07pm

Accrington

Up trains: Sunday

Destination

Down trains: Sunday

Destination

9.04am

Todmorden

9.32am

Blackpool

11.16am

Todmorden

12.37pm

Accrington

3.09pm

Todmorden

3.37pm

Preston

5.01pm

Todmorden

8.02pm

Preston

8.26pm

Todmorden

9.07pm

Blackburn

Destinations are not always made clear in the timetable
§ Stops when required to take up for Manchester



A sand drag to slow down any runaway trains, located on a loop from the up line, east of the station, was authorised by the LYR and installed in 1905.
In 1922 the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway was absorbed by the London & North Western company which, therefore, now operated Cornholme station; the following year the LNWR became a constituent of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). The table below shows departures from Cornholme in the year of LNWR ownership. At this time the station enjoyed a frequent weekday service but, once again, at irregular intervals. A respectable service was also provided on Sunday.


Up trains: weekdays
July 1922

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

7.01am

Todmorden

8.02am

Rose Grove

8.22am

Todmorden

9.47am

Rose Grove

9.48am

Todmorden

10.22 ¶

Preston

1.02pm

Todmorden

11.28am Tue & Sat

Preston

2.36pm Wed & Sat § 

Hull (Riverside)

12.37pm

Preston

2.51pm Sat only

Todmorden

1.37pm Sat only

Rose Grove

3.02pm

Todmorden

2.37pm

Rose Grove

5.28pm

Todmorden

4.18pm

Accrington

6.46pm

Todmorden

5.22pm

Accrington

8.53pm

Todmorden

6.22pm

Accrington

9.49pm

Todmorden

8.42pm

Accrington

11.09pm Sat only

Todmorden

9.47pm

Accrington

-

-

10.37pm Sat only

Blackburn

Up trains: Sunday

Destination

Down trains: Sunday

Destination

8.44am

Todmorden

9.47am

Accrington

10.34am

Todmorden

1.02pm

Preston

2.23pm

Todmorden

1.09pm †

Blackpool Central

4.41pm

Todmorden

4.12pm

Preston

8.13pm

Todmorden

7.52pm

Blackburn

-

-

8.56pm

Preston

§ For Brighouse and beyond      ‡ Calls to set down: approximate time † Calls by request: approximate time      ¶ Calls to take up

In 1928 the LMS replaced the existing signal box with an LNWR Type 5, on the same site, containing a 16-lever LYR frame (on a girder for 20). During the 1920s and ‘30s, buses on the road between Todmorden and Burnley that closely followed the route of the railway sapped the traffic from the stations, and Cornholme was the first to be closed. The table below shows departures from Cornholme two months before closure; by this time trains no longer called on Sunday.


Up trains: weekdays
July 1938

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

6.57am

Todmorden

8.04am

Blackburn

8.14am

Todmorden

9.52am

Rose Grove

9.42am

Todmorden

10.19am Sat only §

Preston

1.04pm

Todmorden

11.28pm

Blackpool Central

2.46pm Sat only

Todmorden

12.39pm

Preston

3.00pm

Todmorden

1.09pm Sat only

Accrington

5.28pm

Todmorden

1.59pm Sat only

Preston

6.39pm

Todmorden

2.43pm

Blackpool Central

8.54pm

Todmorden

4.18pm

Accrington

9.36pm Sat excepted

Todmorden

5.30pm

Accrington

9.52pm Sat only

Todmorden

6.19pm

Blackburn

11.06pm Sat only

Todmorden

7.34pm Sat only

Rose Grove

-

-

8.57pm

Preston

-

-

9.45pm

Rose Grove

-

-

10.49pm

Blackburn

No Sunday trains

-

No Sunday trains

-

§ Calls to take up
Having no goods facilities, closure of Cornholme station was complete. It is not known how long the station stood derelict; the OS one-inch map of 1947 shows it as closed and the 1953 edition omits it altogether. The far more detailed 1: 2,500 map of 1961/62 indicates that the site had been cleared, with only the signal box and Station Road being evidence that the station had once existed. The signal box closed on 27 July 1969 and was demolished within two years.


Tickets from Michael Stewart

Click here for a brief history of the Copy Pit line
See also Copy Pit Route Collieries

See other stations on the Copy Pit line: Burnley Manchester Road (1st site), Burnley Manchester Road (2nd), Towneley, Holme, Portsmouth (Lancs), Stansfield Hall, Eastwood & Hebden Bridge (still open)


Cornholme station looking north-west from the up (Todmorden-bound) platform c1905. The sandstone station building, an unpretentious, tall single-storey affair is on the down platform, whilst the enclosed timber waiting shelter on the up platform is even more modest. Unlike its neighbours at Portsmouth, Holme and Towneley, Cornholme station possessed a footbridge to link its platforms. The signal box, a Saxby & Farmer Type 9, is seen on the slope of the cutting at the far end of the up platform; it opened before the station in 1877 and outlasted the station, closing in 1969. The chimneys of Vale cotton mill can be seen far left.
Photo from John Mann collection


1894 1: 2,500 OS map.Cornholme station was built only a mile east of Portsmouth station, some 30 years after the Copy Pit line opened, to serve the expanding population. The station possesses two facing platforms, connected by a footbridge. The main building, with pink tinting, is on the down (south-west) platform and the up platform waiting shelter stands opposite it. The signal box is at the north-west end of the station, on the up side, set back on the slope of the cutting. No goods facilities are provided. Some of the houses close to the station are of back-to-back design, as on Station Road and Thomas Street. The River Calder emerges from its culvert beneath Vale Mill.

1907 1: 2,500 OS map. For three miles beyond Todmorden town centre there is almost continuous urban and industrial development in the deep, narrow valley of the (Yorkshire) River Calder. Cornholme station was built only a mile east of Portsmouth station, some 30 years after the Copy Pit line opened, to serve the expanding population. Cornholme station has two facing platforms, connected by a footbridge. The main building is on the down (south-west) platform and the up platform waiting shelter stands opposite it. The signal box is at the north-west end of the station, on the up side. No goods facilities are provided, and neither is there any siding to serve the nearby cotton mill. Some of the houses close to the station are of back-to-back design, as on Station Road and Thomas Street. The river emerges from a culvert close to the junction of the main Burnley Road and Station Road.

1961 1: 2,500 OS map. Cornholme station closed in 1938 and has been removed; only the name of Station Road is a reminder that there was ever a station here. The signal box (S B) has
outlived the station.

Looking west towards Cornholme station from the valley side slope c1905. It can be seen that the platforms begin to the left on an embankment and end in a cutting. The main building is on the down (Burnley-bound) platform and the signal box on the opposite side of the tracks is visible further to the right. Vale Mill is just behind the station. The terraced housing and industrial establishments with their chimneystacks are confined to the floor of the Calder valley; the steep slopes and moorland in the background are shunned by settlement. The far end of the built up area is known as Portsmouth, the location of the next station on the way to Burnley.
Photo from John Mann and Pennine Horizons Digital Archive collections
Looking west towards Cornholme station in or before 1906. Brighton Terrace is seen on the left. From this viewpoint the signal box is the most prominent feature of the station, constructed in 1877 in an elevated position on the slope of the cutting. Beyond it, far right, the station footbridge and the waiting shed on the up platform are visible.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Cornholme station, looking west c1910 from the up (Todmorden-bound) platform. The near ends of both platforms are on an embankment and are constructed of timber, perhaps to reduce their weight. The main building, constructed of sandstone and under a pitched roof, is on the down platform, whilst a smaller timber-built waiting shed with a hipped roof faces it on the up platform. Beyond the footbridge the signal box can be seen in an elevated position behind the up platform. The LYR running-in nameboard is suitably prominent on the down platform. The station’s surroundings are typical of much of the central Pennines, with housing and industry tightly packed into the valley floor in sharp contrast to the bleak, sparsely populated moors on either side.
Photo from John Mann and Pennine Horizons Digital Archive collections

On 10 June 1966 No.70003 ‘John Bunyan’ is hauling a Fleetwood to York party special near Cornholme. The Britannia class 4-6-2, designed at BR Derby works was built at Crewe works in March 1951. She was withdrawn from 68A, Carlisle Kingmoor shed, on 25 March 1967 and cut up by Campbells of Airdrie in November of that year.

On the night of 15-16 August 1967 an accident occurred at Cornholme. A freight train of 36 loaded vans and empty mineral wagons, headed by Type 4 (later Class 40) diesel D398, travelling from Lostock Hall to Healey Mills collided with the Copy Pit 8F 2-8-0 banker at 60 to 70 mph, pushing the banker about half a mile down the 1 in 80 gradient. The driver of the diesel was killed and the freight train was derailed; wreckage was strewn for over a mile and some of the wagons tumbled down the embankment, one landing in the kitchen of a lineside house. It seems that the diesel driver had recently consumed the equivalent of five to six pints of beer and passed six signals at danger while ignoring line speed limits. On 16 August the Lostock Hall crane is in attendance.
Photo by Ian G Holt

At Cornholme on 16 August 1967 the Newton Heath crane has joined the Lostock Hall crane in sorting out the wreckage caused by a runaway eastbound freight train.
Photo by Ian G Holt

At Cornholme the cranes from Lostock Hall and Newton Heath sheds are hard at work clearing wreckage on 16 August 1967 which resulted from the collision of an eastbound freight train with the Copy Pit banking engine.
Photo by Ian G Holt

On 23 June 1968 a westbound coal train is photographed near Cornholme. The loco No.48423 is banking the train tender-first, as indicated on the tail lamps on the loco and on the brake van beyond it. This tender-first arrangement is unusual because of the danger of running short of boiler water with the engine tipping slightly forwards, but the 1 in 65 gradient here (the steepest on the Copy Pit route) is not steep enough to cause such a problem. The steam from the train engine is seen in the distance. No.48423 is a Stanier-designed 8F 2-8-0 built at Swindon works and is understood to be allocated to 24B, Rose Grove shed. Steam working on British Rail ceased the following August.
Photo by Eddie Bobrowski

Looking north-west at Cornholme in February 1971. The station closed to all traffic in 1938. The viewpoint is midway along the former platforms where an embankment ends and a cutting begins. The signal box used to stand on the slope of the cutting to the right, close to the more distant bush, but it closed in summer 1969 and has been swiftly removed.
Photo by John Mann

An aerial view of the site of Cornholme station which closed to all traffic in 1938 and has been comprehensively obliterated. Station Road is at the far side of the longer terrace, near the lower left-hand corner; the near side of the same back-to-back terrace is on Thomas Street. West is at the top of the image.

Looking north-east at Cornholme where the train is passing the site of the station. The working appears to be 6E32 Preston Docks to Lindsey discharged bitumen tanks for Total. The loco is a Class 60 Type 5,  the final diesel locomotives built for BR between 1989 and 1993 by Brush Traction at Loughborough. This one is owned by DB Schenker. The picture must be prior to January 2015, as the working has since passed to Colas who use 60s purchased from DBS. The nearest street is Station Road. The terraced houses are back-to-back – a design still seen in many industrial settlements in West Yorkshire, notably in Leeds.
Copyright photo by Ian Scott from his Flickr photostream

 

 

 

[Source: Alan Young]




Last updated: Wednesday, 17-May-2017 08:19:24 BST
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