Station Name: RAINFORD

[Source: Paul Wright]

Date opened: 20.11.1848
Location: East side of Ormskirk Road
Company on opening: Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway
Date closed to passengers: 3.2.1858
Date closed completely: 3.2.1858
Company on closing: Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway
Present state: Demolished
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD468021
Date of visit: 20.3.2015

Notes: Rainford station was situated on the Liverpool & Bury Railway (L&BR) which was authorised on 31 July 1845. The route of the line took in the towns of Wigan and Bolton and had been promoted by prominent industrialists who wanted a more direct route between the industrial areas of east Lancashire and the port of Liverpool. Since 1830 the Liverpool & Manchester Railway (L&M) had held a monopoly on trade between those areas and it did not offer a direct route. Work on the line began in January 1846 and on 9 July 1847 the L&BR merged with other companies to form the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR).

Rainford station opened with the line on 20 November 1848. It was located a mile north-east of the village from which it took its name on the east side of Ormskirk and St Helens road. The station was 23 miles from Bury. Contemporary maps show a building on the down side of the line (Liverpool direction) but little else is known about the station.

The March 1850 timetable showed five trains in each direction on Monday-to-Saturday as seen in the table below. There were three trains in each direction on Sunday. Trains mostly ran between Liverpool Great Howard Street and Rochdale via Wigan, Bolton and Bury.

Up Trains March 1850


Down trains March 1850





Liverpool Great Howard Street




Liverpool Great Howard Street




Liverpool Great Howard Street




Liverpool Great Howard Street




Liverpool Great Howard Street

The Liverpool terminus at Great Howard Street was intended to be temporary as an Act had been obtained to extend the line to Tithebarn Street on 3 August 1846. The Tithebarn Street terminus (later to be named Liverpool Exchange) opened on 13 May 1850.

On 4 August 1853 the St Helens Canal & Railway Company (SHC&RC) and the East Lancashire Railway (ELR) obtained an Act to create a railway between St Helens and Ormskirk which would pass over the Liverpool & Bury railway to the east of Rainford station. The Act authorised a connection to the existing line and to facilitate interchange the LYR decided to relocate its Rainford station ½-mile to the east where it could serve the new line. The new station called Rainford Junction opened on 1 February 1858 and the original was closed completely. It would have been demolished shortly afterwards.

The line through the original Rainford station was still open in 2015 but had been truncated at Kirkby on 29 April 1977. The line to the west of Kirkby became part of the electrified Merseyrail Northern line.

Route map by Alan Young.

The 8D Association - Dedicated to promoting the history of South Lancashire and North Cheshire railways. Web Site


  • The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway - Volume 1 - John Marshall - David & Charles 1969

To see other stations on the Liverpool Exchange - Wigan Wallgate line click on the station name: Liverpool Exchange, Liverpool Great Howard Street,
Kirkby Royal Ordnance Factory, Rainford Junction, Upholland 1st
Wigan (LYR) 2nd & Wigan (LYR) 1st.

Looking east at the site of the first Rainford station on 20 March 2015.
Photo by Paul Wright

Rainford station shown on a six-inch scale map from the 1850s.

By the time this six-inch scale map was drawn in the 1890s nothing remained of Rainford station.

The original Ormskirk Road looking north on 20 March 2015. The first Rainford station was to the right of the bridge.
hoto by Paul Wright

A view looking west at the site of the first Rainford station on 20 March 2015. The station building was on this side of the line.
Photo by Paul Wright

The access path to the up platform at the first Rainford station seen on 20 March 2015.
Photo by Paul Wright

Looking west towards the site of the first Rainford station on 20 March 2015.
Photo by Les Fifoot




[Source: Paul Wright]

Last updated: Monday, 22-May-2017 12:59:11 CEST
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