Station Name: CRANK HALT

[Source: Paul Wright & Bevan Price]

Date opened: First appeared in timetable in April 1858
Location: East side of Crank Road
Company on opening: St. Helens Railway
Date closed to passengers: 18.6.1951
Date closed completely: 18.6.1951
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: A section of the former up platform extant.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SJ501987
Date of visit: 28.2.2006

Notes: Crank station was part of what became the St. Helens to Ormskirk via Rainford Junction line. The route was effectively made up of two different lines that opened within a month of each other. Crank was situated on the St. Helens to Rainford Junction line which was opened by The St. Helens Canal & Railway Company (SHC&RC) on 1 February 1858. The other part of the line ran from Rainford Junction to Ormskirk and was opened by the East Lancashire Railway (ELR). At the time of opening new stations where provided at St. Helens (3rd), Gerards Bridge, Moss Bank, Rainford and Rainford Junction. A few months later the railway company decided to add another two experimental stops to see if they were viable. One of these was Crank, the other was Rookery.

Crank station was situated on the east side of Crank Road which crossed the line by means of a level crossing. The line was double track and so the station was provided with two platforms each of which had a simple wooden waiting structure built by a local contractor. At the time of opening the station was served by four trains each way per day which ran from St. Helens to Rainford Junction where the SHC&RC had its own platform. The St. Helens to Rainford Junction section of the line became part of the London North Western Railway on 4 August 1864 and by 1904 they were operating 8 trains in each direction.

In 1923 the entire route from St. Helens to Ormskirk became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway which brought it under the direction of one company for the first time. This did not alter the pattern of services though they remained as they always had with St. Helens line services terminating at Rainford Junction. Passengers wishing to travel on towards Ormskirk had to change at Rainford Junction.

On the 9 September 1940 Crank became an unstaffed halt. Traffic levels on the line had declined and by 1951 (when the line was part of British Railways London Midland Region) only three workman's trains operated at morning and afternoon rush hour in each direction. Despite protests regular passenger services ceased on 16 June 1951. The line remained in use for goods services and for passenger excursions and diversions up until 6 July 1964.

Today the site of Crank Station is hidden from the road by extensive vegetation growth. The trackbed can be traced only on the west (Rainford) side of the former level crossing over Crank Road. The remains of a brick structure can be seen between trees on the west side of Crank Road.

Route map by Alan Young.


  • Industrial Railways of St Helens, Widnes and Warrington - Part 2 St Helens Coalfield and the Sandfields - C H A Townley & J A Peden - Industrial Railway Society 2002
  • The St Helens Railway, Its Rivals and Successors – J M Tolston – The Oakwood Press 1982

For other Stations on the St. Helens - Rainford Junction line click on the station name: 
St. Helens (3rd station)
Gerards BridgeMoss Bank,
Old Mill Lane
Rookery 1stRookery 2nd , Rainford Village  &
Rainford Junction

For Stations on the Rainford Junction - Ormskirk line click on the station name: 
Rainford JunctionHey's Crossing HaltWhite Moss Level Crossing HaltSkelmersdale Westhead Halt

Crank station looking south at the 'up' platform in 1949. A Rainford Junction service has just arrived at the station and one passenger has alighted.

Crank station shown on a 6-inch scale map from 1892. The proximity of the station to Crank Hall is clearly demonstrated.

Crank station shown on a 25-inch scale map from 1892.

Little changed at Crank station over the years as demonstrated by this 25-inch map from 1925.

Looking west from Crank Road along trackbed towards Rainford in February 2006. Remains of a brick structure can just be discerned towards the right side
Photo by Bevan Price

After 2017 the owner of the Crank station site excavated a section of the 'up' (northbound) platform. It is seen in this view looking north in the summer of 2019.
hoto by Mark Jones

A Crank station nameboard has been erected on the site of the 'down' (southbound) platform by the current owner. The board is shown in this view from the summer of 2019.
Photo by Mark Jones

Click on thumbnail to enlarge




[Source: Paul Wright & Bevan Price]

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