Station Name: PADIHAM

[Source: Andt Hunt]

Date opened: Date Opened for goods 1 July 1875, and passengers 1 September 1876
Location: West side of Station Road, Padiham
Company on opening: Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway
Date closed to passengers:

2 December 1957 (Excursions until 2 November 1964)

Date closed completely: 17 June 1968
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished, now part of the Padiham Greenway footpath and cycleway
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD792336
Date of visit: 26.8.2010

Notes: Padiham station served the town of the same name. It was located on the North Lancashire Loop line, which ran between Rose Grove (near Burnley) and Blackburn. There were two platforms: the down platform served trains from Blackburn and Preston travelling East, the up platform served trains from Burnley, Colne, and West Yorkshire travelling West. The station was 1.5 miles from Rose Grove, and was the largest station on the line.

The station buildings were stone-built with slate roofs and built on two levels. The lower level building had the station entrance, booking office, a waiting room, parcels office, an ashes store and WC. The first floor of this building was the station master's house, with three bedrooms, a parlour, kitchen, a pantry, scullery, a toilet, and a landing to the front door. A stairway leading from the street and a walkway just behind the down platform allowed access to the house. This building was on the Rose Grove (eastern) side of the station, and 30 or 40 yards from the platforms on the Blackburn (western) side.

Access to the down (eastbound) platform was via a glass-covered, steep ramp leading up to it from the entrance. Access to the up platform was via a subway under the line, and again up another steep, glass-covered ramp. No details are given of how high up the platforms were from ground level, but photos suggest around 15 to possibly 20 feet.

The down platform building had the station master's office, first and second class waiting rooms for both ladies and gentlemen, a general waiting room, lamp room, porters’ room and toilets. The down building was 83 feet in length and had a full length awning, but at some point this was cut back at the Blackburn end. The station master's office facing the platform had a bay window which housed a clock showing passengers on the platform the time.

The up platform building had ladies’ and gentlemen's waiting rooms and a general waiting room. 

The awning edges of both buildings were painted with alternating colours, the same as the other stations on the North Lancashire Loop. The platforms were 581 feet long, only flagged for the length of both up and down buildings, and the platforms were built mostly on a curve starting at the Rose Grove end. When the station first opened to the public, although complete, it still wasn't painted. Both platform buildings had a sign “PASSENGERS MUST NOT CROSS the line EXCEPT BY SUBWAY”.

The goods yard behind the up platform had a capacity for 200 wagons. In addition, the up refuge siding could cater for 43 wagons, another siding ran through the goods shed, there were three coal sidings, two pairs of general sidings, and a short siding serving a loading mound. The yard also had a Goliath crane which could span the four general goods sidings and move along them. The crane had a 10-ton lifting capacity. The outermost coal siding served the nearby gas works. Entrance to the goods yard was at the junction of Green Lane and Station Road; just inside the gates stood the weigh house.

By 1931, the gas works had a narrow gauge track leading to the outermost coal siding in the yard, allowing direct delivery of coal to the works. By 1956 this external track was cut back to the gas works only. Also by this date, the Goliath crane had been removed due to its condition and age.

The goods shed was built of wood, had two road loading bays, an internal platform (also made of wood), two cranes and an external office at the Rose Grove side.

Padiham station originally had two signal boxes, either side of the down platform, called East and West. They were replaced with one single box in 1913, which was situated on the down platform at the Rose Grove end and was built of wood with a slate roof. As of March 1961, it had 23 working leavers and one spare.

The station had been supplied with the new BR totem station name signs in 1957 but they were never installed, one was found at the station after closure. The station's name signs were the LMS Hawkseye ones right up to the end.

After regular passenger services along the North Lancashire Loop were withdrawn in 1957, the station opened every year for the town's summer holidays, and day excursions, typically to the seaside during summer.

Stuart Taylor notes in one of his books that during an excursion trip along the line in 1962, most of the two platforms were covered in grass and weeds and the station looked in a shabby condition, with the paint fading.

The goods yard here became a coal only depot Monday 7th October 1963.

The last passenger excursion trains to call at Padiham were during a two week period commencing
Saturday the 6th of July 1964 for the town holidays of nearby Nelson and Colne.

The closure meeting concerning Great Harwood and Simonstone goods yards does not reveal the figures regarding the amount of coal delivered to Padiham, but the station still had a station master and checker in 1964. The station master here by this date was supervising Simonstone station which was now unstaffed.

It is known that in May 1965, the goods shed was still in use for bagging up coal. The two internal cranes by this date were still in situ but by now unusable.

It is not known when the demolition of the station buildings started exactly, but it was completed on 19 August 1967, and the goods yard closed 17 June 1968. The coal for the yard was transferred to Burnley.

It is unclear when the goods shed was demolished. The bridge over Station Road serving the yard was cut up just a few days before the goods yard closed.

Padiham signal box at the former railway station site closed 30 June 1969, after the line was singled over the two weekends before. The remaining single line was the former up line.

The mystery is why did Padiham station survive nearly two years longer than the other two stations along the line? During the closure meeting held by BR management and staff in 1964, the management stated that Padiham could be opened again to excursion traffic if it was required, but there are no records of this, and it’s highly unlikely it ever happened.

The line through the former station area continued to see coal and occasional oil trains until July 1993 serving Padiham CEGB power station. The stockpile of coal was then taken away by train in July prior to the closure of the power station in September of that year. After the power station's closure the line became unused.

The goods yard is now a housing estate, and the former line now forms part of the Padiham Greenway walk and cycleway, which runs down the bank to Padiham and over the former down line platform area, and is surrounded with grass and trees.

Route map by Alan Young, Ticlets from Michael Stewart.

Click here for a brief history of the North Lancs Loop Line

To see stations on the North Lancs Loop Line
click on the station name:
Great Harwood & Simonstone

Padiham Station Gallery 1: 1890 - c1912
A photo taken in 1890, an L&Y class 5 stands just forward of the home signal. The bridge appears to be going over Mare Park Road to the west of the station; the line joining from the right gave access to the goods yard. The engine looks to be fresh out of the Horwich locomotive works; interestingly it doesn't have an engine number on it. It is possibly a promotion photo for the L&Y. The platform on the left is the up platform and the photo was taken looking east to Rose Grove. The train would have made its way along the loop line to Blackburn.
Photo from John Mann collection

1893 1:2500 OS map. Starting at the top right side, we can see the main running lines coming in. Just after crossing the weir a line splits off the up line, it in turn splits into two just before going over one of the bridges that spanned Station Road. One of these two lines runs the length of the goods yard and was the up refuge siding capable of holding 43 wagons. The other runs through the goods shed; both of these lines converge with the good yard sidings at the western end which in turn connect with the main running lines near the river Calder. Two pairs of sidings can be seen; the travelling Goliath crane moved along these sidings and could reach across all 4 sidings. Two long and one short siding can be seen nearest the gas works. These were the coal sidings. One small line comes off the shortest siding and runs to the gas works entrance. Once the sidings converge with the main lines the bridge over the river Calder is crossed. The platform buildings can be seen and the ground floor entrance hall building is connected with steep ramps leading to the platforms, a subway allowing access to the up platform ramp. The original two signal boxes (East and West) can be seen either side of the station, East is on the right hand side. Click here for a larger version

1931 1:2500 OS map. The goods yard layout remains the same as the 1893 map, however the short third coal siding has been made into 2 longer sidings. The tramway that runs alongside the outer one runs all the way and directly connects the yard with the gas works. The 2 original signal boxes have been replaced by 1 box situated of the down platform at the Rose Grove end - this replacement happened in 1913. Just out of sight to the left, Padiham's power station was now built and in use. Trains for it would cross over the river bridge (on the left) and immediately run off the main lines to their left (or South as we look at the map). Click here for a larger version.

Padiham signal box shown here in red had 23 working levers and 1 spare giving 24 in total in 1961. It controlled the station area, access to and from the goods yard and the reception siding (exchange siding) for the power station. Freight trains that had to pin down wagon brakes for the trip down the 1 in 40 bank from Rose Grove (on the westbound up line) stopped at the home starter signal (signal No. 3) where they were released again. Access to Padiham power station was via the reception (exchange) siding. Coal trains would stop at the illuminated board at the western end of the reception siding, here they would telephone the power station to ask which one of their sidings did they want the coal wagons to be placed on. An empty train from the power station would use the run round reception loop, again the train would stop just beyond the exit of it and inform the signal box that it was ready to return. The signal box itself was located at the Rose Grove (east end) of the station's down platform. This box was a replacement (in 1913) for the two original ones which were either side of the down platform called East and West. This box closed 30 June 1969 after the line was singled over the two previous weekends. The track diagram is from March 1961.
Copyright Chris Littleworth

The layout of the buildings for Padiham station. 1 is the first floor station master's house, 2 the ground floor booking office and general waiting room, and stores etc. 3 The public entrance. 4 is the subway that gave access to the up platform ramp. 5, the ramp up to the down platform. 6, the other ramp leading to the up platform. 7, the down platform building. 8, the up platform building. 9, is platform level. 10, Street level. Finally 11, Stairs that gave access from the street to the station master's house
Drawn by Andy Hunt

In the early years of the 20th century a Lancashire & Yorkshire Aspinall Class 5 2-4-2T stands at the down platform. One example of this class, No. 1008, has survived into preservation. This combination of tank engine plus three carriages was typical of the local passenger services right up to the last train on 30 November 1957. Note to the right of the train, behind the gas lamp, you can just see the glass-covered steep ramp going down to ground level. This view is from the Rose Grove end of the station.
Photo from Jim Lake collection

A great photo of one of the original signal boxes at Padiham, this one is of Padiham West box in the early 20yh century. It was constructed of wood and had a slate roof and was situated at the western end of the station area just before the line ran over the river Calder heading west towards Blackburn. This box along with the east one was removed in 1913 and replaced by one signal box located on the Rose Grove end of the down platform. A lovely photo of the signal man and two boys at the top of the steps. No details are given with regards to how many levers this box had.
Photo from Jim Lake collection

An Edwardian view of both station buildings. The platform on the left is the down platform. This platform had most of the facilities, whilst the up one had some waiting rooms. This photo is pre-1913, since in that year the original two signal boxes were replaced with just one on the down platform at the Rose Grove end. This view is from the Blackburn end. Note that the platforms and their buildings are elevated from ground level and that ash ballast covers the sleepers. The practice of covering sleepers with ballast was outlawed sometime around 1918 - 1919, very soon after the end of WWI.
Photo from JJohn Mann collection

A colourised postcard of a Blackburn (westbound) train stands by the up platform at Padiham probably in the second decade of the 20th century. Passengers alight from the train while the driver checks out the water level in the left hand side tank of the engine. This engine is a Barton-Wright 0-6-2T class 22 tank engine. 82 of them were built for the L&Y railway company between 1877 and 1883. L & Y livery was Tan above the waist and Crimson Lake below.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Click here for Padiham Station Gallery 2:
c Early 20th C - 3 December 1966




[Source: Andt Hunt]


Last updated: Monday, 28-Aug-2023 15:47:40 CEST
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