Station Name: IRWELL VALE
This is a new station opened by the East Lancashire Railway and is included for completeness

[Source: Paul Wright & Alan Young]

Date opened: 27.4.1991
Location: East side of Meadow Park
Company on opening: East Lancashire Railway (new)
Date closed to passengers: Still open
Date closed completely: Still open
Company on closing: Still open
Present state: Still open
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD792200
Date of visit: July 2006

Notes: Irwell Vale station is on the Bury to Rawtenstall heritage railway. This section of line opened for regular passenger services on 28th September 1846, and it was part of the former East Lancashire Railway’s (ELR) Clifton Junction to Bacup route which opened in stages from 1846 to 1852.The line closed to passenger services on 3rd June 1972, and to goods services in 1980.

A preservation group formed in 1968 had, by the 1980s, become the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society, and their aim was to reopen the line from Bury to Rawtenstall. With help and support from the local authorities the group reopened the line from Bury to Ramsbottom on 25th July 1987. The ‘new’ ELR was born. On 27th April 1991 they extended to Rawtenstall.

Irwell Vale opened on the same day as the extension. There had never been a station here, but there had been one a little further north at Ewood Bridge & Edenfield. There had however been a goods siding at the site with a 2-ton crane. The siding closed on 5th June 1954. The ‘new’ ELR opted not to reopen Ewood Bridge but to construct a new station from which buses could provide a link to the proposed Helmshore Textile Museum. The new facility was also much better located for local people than Ewood Bridge & Edenfield had been.

Irwell Vale is served by the Bury – Rawtenstall heritage trains, and is about half-a- mile to the south of Ewood Bridge. This unstaffed station has a single platform west side of the line. The traditional-looking stone waiting shelter with a hipped roof of slate is quite delightful and complements the Victorian character of the buildings constructed at Rawtenstall and Ramsbottom. As with the other stations on this preserved line it is lovingly maintained and a pleasure to use.


To see other stations on the East Lancashire Railway Clifton Junction - Bacup line click on the station name on the station name: Clifton Junction, Molyneux Brow, Ringley Road, Radcliffe Bridge, Withens Lane, Bury Bolton Street, Summerseat, Ramsbottom, Stubbins, Ewood Bridge & Edenfield, Rawtenstall, Clough Fold, Waterfoot for Newchurch, Stacksteads & Bacup

See also Stubbins Junction to Accrington:
Helmshore, Haslingden, Baxenden & Accrington

Looking south at the ‘new’ East Lancashire Railway’s station at Irwell Vale. There had never been a station at this location prior to the closure of the line in 1981. There was however a goods siding that closed in 1954. This was sited to the left of the line here. The line at this point had been double track from 1857 until 1968. The new station occupies part of the trackbed.
Photo by Alan Young

Simulated map showing the position of Irwell Vale station in relation to Ewood Bridge station.

1911 1:2500 OS Map showing Irwell Vale siding.

Looking north at the ‘new’ East Lancashire Railway’s station at Irwell Vale. There had never been a passenger station at this location prior to the closure of the line in 1981. Although the station looks very much like a halt from a previous age, close observation shows that modern materials, such as breeze block, have been used in its construction.
Photo by Alan Young

An East Lancashire Railway heritage service can be seen arriving at Irwell Vale station in July 2006. The service was heading southwards to Bury Bolton Street. Since it was opened in 1991 Irwell Vale has served the area that was once served by Ewood Bridge & Edenfield station which is located a short distance to the north.
Photo by Alan Young

Looking south along the single platform at Irwell Vale station in July 2006. A steam hauled train of 1950s coaching prepares to depart for Bury Bolton Street.
Photo by Alan Young

Looking north at the lengthy single platform that is Irwell Vale station in July 2006. The station was not an original of the line. It was built by the ‘new’ East Lancashire Railway (ELR) when they re-opened the line from Ramsbottom to Rawtenstall in 1991. The platform needed to be long as lengthy trains are run by the ELR. The original goods siding at this site was located on the right.
Photo by Alan Young




[Source: Paul Wright & Alan Young]

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