Station Name: PLODDER LANE FOR FARNWORTH

[Source: Paul Wright]

Date opened: 1.4.1875
Location: South side of Plodder Lane
Company on opening: London & North Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 29.3.1954
Date closed completely: 30.1.1965
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD720058
Date of visit: 9.2.2017

Notes: Plodder Lane for Farnworth station was situated on the London & North Western Railway’s (LNWR) Roe Green Junction – Fletcher Street Junction line which opened for goods services on 16 November 1874. The line, which was authorised on 12 July 1869, created a shorter route for the LNWR between Bolton and Manchester and one that could compete more easily with the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR) who had a direct route between the two times dating back to 1839. The LNWR Bolton and Kenyon line provided a link between Bolton and Manchester but it was not direct and it was more than twice as long as the LYR route. From 1864 the situation was improved when the LNWR opened a line between Eccles and Wigan from which a connection to the Kenyon line was made at Howe Bridge, but again the route was still longer than the LYR line.

The first sod on the direct line was cut on 23 January 1871 but construction did not start until March 1871. The new line diverged from the Eccles and Wigan line at Roe Green and then ran for 4¾ miles to Fletcher Street in Bolton where it connected to the Kenyon line. Passenger services were introduced on 1 April 1875. Plodder Lane for Farnworth was opened as Plodder Lane along with two other stations (Little Hulton and Walkden).

The station was located to the west of Farnworth on the south side of its namesake. Plodder Lane passed over the line on a brick and iron span bridge. The line was in a cutting at this point and the booking office was at street level. It was housed in a single-storey timber building.

From the booking office a footbridge spanned the double-track line and steps connected to the platforms. Both platforms had waiting rooms housed within timber single-storey buildings.

The station was provided with goods facilities which were north of Plodder Lane, east side of the line. They consisted of sidings, a large goods shed and a 5-ton lifting crane.

At the south end of the goods yard adjacent to the Plodder Lane overbridge a signal box (Plodder Lane Number 1), which had opened on 6 April 1876, controlled the main line and access to the goods sidings at their southern end.

To the north of the goods facilities on the west side of the line was an engine shed which opened in 1875 (click here to read more).

At the time of opening Plodder Lane had seven up and ten down trains on Monday-to-Saturday. Trains ran between Bolton Great Moor Street and Manchester Victoria. The journey time to Manchester from Plodder Lane was 35 minutes. Bolton Great Moor Street was reached in five minutes.

On 30 June 1884 the Bolton service started to use the LNWR Manchester Exchange station which opened that day.

The December 1895 timetable showed 10 up and 12 down trains on Monday-to-Friday. On Saturday there were two extra up and one extra down services. There was no Sunday service.

The Railway Clearing House 1904 Handbook of Stations showed Plodder Lane as having a 5-ton lifting crane and being able to handle general goods, parcels and passengers. It also listed a number of private sidings.

In 1908 the LNWR renamed the station Plodder Lane for Farnworth.

On 1 January 1922 the LNWR absorbed the LYR. The July 1922 timetable showed 13 up and 15 down trains on Monday-to-Friday. On Saturday there were only 11 up services.

Plodder Lane for Farnworth became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) on 1 January 1923.

Being in control of both the former LNWR and LYR routes between Bolton and Manchester the LMS did not need to compete with itself and main line traffic was concentrated on the LYR route. However Plodder Lane for Farnworth still enjoyed a good level of service from local trains. By the summer of 1932 there were 15 up and 14 down services on Monday-to-Friday as shown in the table below. On Saturday there were 14 up trains and no services on Sunday.

Up Trains – Summer 1932

Destination

Down trains – Summer 1932

Destination

6.35am

Manchester Exchange

7.01am

Bolton Great Moor Street

7.30am

Manchester Exchange

8.09am

Bolton Great Moor Street

8.16am

Manchester Exchange

8.40am

Bolton Great Moor Street

8.30am

Manchester Exchange

9.53am

Bolton Great Moor Street

9.20am

Manchester Exchange

12.28pm (Saturdays Only)

Bolton Great Moor Street

12.20pm

Monton Green

12.44pm (Saturdays Excepted)

Bolton Great Moor Street

1.30pm (Saturdays Excepted)

Manchester Exchange

12.57pm (Saturdays Only)

Bolton Great Moor Street

1.45pm (Saturdays Only)

Manchester Exchange

1.38pm (Saturdays Excepted)

Bolton Great Moor Street

2.15 (Saturdays Excepted)

Manchester Exchange

2.08pm (Saturdays Only)

Bolton Great Moor Street

2.25pm (Saturdays Only)

Manchester Exchange

2.27pm (Saturdays Excepted)

Bolton Great Moor Street

3.37pm (Saturdays Excepted)

Manchester Exchange

3.55pm

Bolton Great Moor Street

4.21pm (Saturdays Only)

Eccles

4.55pm

Bolton Great Moor Street

4.35pm (Saturdays Excepted)

Monton Green

5.58pm

Bolton Great Moor Street

5.51pm

Manchester Exchange

6.48pm

Bolton Great Moor Street

6.45pm

Manchester Exchange

7.44pm

Bolton Great Moor Street

9.00pm

Manchester Exchange

9.24pm

Bolton Great Moor Street

10.05pm (Saturdays Only)

Manchester Exchange

10.30pm

Bolton Great Moor Street

10.20pm (Saturdays Excepted)

Monton Green

11.00pm

Monton Green (Manchester Exchange on Saturdays)

The service was reduced during the Second World War. Although services were increased after the war they did not match those provided in the 1930s. The LMS summer timetable showed eight trains in each direction on Monday-to-Friday. Three of the up trains ran only as far as Monton Green. On Saturday there were an extra up and two extra down services. No trains ran on Sunday.

On 1 January 1948 Plodder Lane for Farnworth became part of British Railways [London Midland Region] (BR[LMR]).

The summer timetable showed only four up and three down trains on Monday-to-Friday. On Saturday there were 6 up and 4 down trains.

BR[LMR] withdrew the passenger service between Bolton Great Moor Street and Manchester Exchange on 29 March 1954 and the passenger station at Plodder Lane closed. On 10 October 1954 Plodder Lane Locomotive Depot was closed. The station still handled goods and the 1956 Handbook of Stations showed the station as able to handle general goods only. It also listed private sidings for Bennis Combustion Ltd, the National Coal Board and Scowcroft & Company.

On 20 October 1960 just over 2 miles of the line were closed between Roe Green Junction and Little Hulton Junction with the result that goods services to and from Plodder Lane had to travel via Bolton Crook Street.

On 11 May 1964 the line between Plodder Lane and Little Hulton Junction was closed completely. Less than a year later on 30 January 1965 Plodder Lane closed to public goods. Private sidings traffic continued for a little while longer but had finished by 1966.

In the 1980s the cutting at Plodder Lane was infilled obliterating all trace of the station.

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: Plodder Lane Locomotive Shed

To see other stations on the Bolton Great Moor Street - Eccles line click on the station name: Bolton Great Moor Street, Little Hulton, Walkden Low Level, Worsley and Monton Green


Plodder Lane for Farnworth looking north on Saturday 27 March 1954. This was the last day on which passenger services operated. Preparing to depart for Manchester Exchange is the 1.20pm service from Bolton Great Moor Street.
P
hoto by D Chatfield


Plodder Lane station, its goods facilities and the nearby Plodder Lane Locomotive Depot shown on a
6-inch scale map from 1889.

Plodder Lane station shown on a 25-inch scale map from 1891.


The goods facilities at Plodder Lane shown on a 25-inch scale map from 1891.

Plodder Lane for Farnworth station looking north in April 1976. The cutting to the north of the station had been filled in by this time.
P
hoto by John Mann


The site of Plodder Lane for Farnworth station looking north on 9 February 2017. The view is taken from a similar viewpoint as the 1976 photograph above.
Photo by Dominic Jackson

Looking south at the site of Plodder Lane for Farnworth station on 9 February 2017.
P
hoto by Dominic Jackson

Click here to see more photos

 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]




Last updated: Monday, 20-Feb-2017 18:34:03 GMT
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