Station Name: RED ROCK

[Source: Cliff Reeves & Paul Wright]

Date opened: 1.12.1869
Location: North side of Red Rock Lane (B5239)
Company on opening:

Lancashire and Yorkshire and Lancashire Union Railway Joint

Date closed to passengers: 26.9.1949
Date closed completely: 2.9.1957
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: The station building on the Wigan platform was renovated and incorporated into a private residence in 1980. This has been been extended and added to over the years. The goods yard is now a car park where you can leave your car in relative safety and explore the line with its overbridges and aqueduct via a cycle/bridle path leading to Adlington.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD584100
Date of visit: 28.5.2006 & 2.6.2007

Notes: Red Rock station was situated on the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR) and the Lancashire Union Railway (LUR) joint Boars Head and Blackburn line which opened on 1 November 1869 for goods services. Boars Head was located on the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) main line that linked Wigan and Preston. The 6-mile joint line was constructed because the Wigan coal owners wanted better transportation links to the mills and factories of North East Lancashire. The coal owners also wanted a line that would allow trains to go south and gain direct access to Garston Dock where shipping charges were far less than at the Liverpool docks.

Red Rock station opened on 1 December 1869 when passenger services were introduced. The station was located on the western edge of the small settlement of Red Rock on the north side of Red Rock Lane a short distance to the west of the Lancaster Canal.

The line was a double track railway and two platforms were provided. They were staggered the down platform (Blackburn direction) being closest to Red Rock Lane to which it was connected by a sloping footpath. The south end of the up platform (Wigan direction) was opposite the north end of the down. On each platform there was a stone built single storey building in the mock Tudor style.

Red Rock was provided with substantial goods facilities. They were located to the west of the down platform and included three sidings, a large brick built goods shed and a 5-ton lifting crane. The sidings connected to the main line to the north of the down platform.

Passenger services ran between Wigan and Blackburn.

The down waiting room at Red Rock was kept locked as it was maintained for the use of the Lindsay family who lived at Haigh Hall.

On 16 July 1883 the LUR was vested into the LNWR and the line became LNWR/LYR Joint.

The December 1895 timetable showed seven trains in each direction Monday-to-Saturday. One of the up trains, the 8.50am to Wigan, stopped only when required. On sundays there were two trains in each direction. By this time a signal box had opened to the north of the down platform just beyond the point where the goods sidings connected to the main line. The box was an LNWR Type-4 with a brick base and upper cabin.

The Railway Clearing House Handbook of Stations 1904 listed Red Rock as being able to handle general goods and livestock.

On 1 January 1922 the line it passed into the sole ownership of the LNWR for a year before that company became part of the London Midland Scottish Railway (LMS) on 1 January 1923.

The July 1922 timetable had shown eight trains in each direction Monday-to-Saturday with no trains on Sundays. Ten years later the Summer 1932 timetable also showed eight trains in each direction Monday-to-Saturday as seen in the table below.

Up Trains - Summer 1932 Destination Down Trains - Summer 1932 Destination
8.20am Wigan North Western 7.17am Blackburn
8.49am Wigan North Western 9.55am Blackburn
10.45am Wigan North Western 11.52am Blackburn
1.01pm Wigan North Western 1.05pm Blackburn
2.44pm Wigan North Western 4.06pm Blackburn
5.15pm Wigan North Western 6.09pm Blackburn
7.13pm Wigan North Western 7.37pm Blackburn
8.34pm Wigan North Western 9.42pm Blackburn

In 1946 the Lindsay family moved away from Haigh Hall and the down platform waiting room was opened for public use.

On 1 January 1948 Red Rock became part of British Railways [London Midland Region] (BR[LMR])  The timetable for the summer of 1948 showed four up and two down trains Momday-to-Saturday and no trains on Sundays. The up trains all ran to Wignan North Western and the down to Blackburn.

With such a poor level of service BR[LMR] withdrew the passenger service from 26 September 1949.

Red Rock station remained in use for goods services until 2 September 1957 (although from 6 December 1954 it had been downgraded to an unstaffed public siding).

After final closure the station was abandoned and left to deteriorate.

In the mid-1960s the line was singled.  Goods services and passenger diversions operated up until 5 October 1971 after which the line officially closed. A 1974 Ordinance Survey map of the area shows the line still in situ.

Today, the station building remains albeit incorporated into a large residence as does the former goods yard and track bed which leads into Adlington.

Sources: Townley, Smith & Peden, 'The Industrial Railways Of The Wigan Coalfield' (Runpast Publications), Bob Pixton, 'Main Line Railways Around Wigan', (Runpast Publications)

See also Boars Head & White Bear

Red Rock station looking north along the down platform in 1952. The building to the right (on the up platform) was incorporated into a house in the 1980s.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Red Rock station shown on a six-inch scale map from 1892.

Red Rock station shown on a 1:2,500 scale map from 1894. The extensive goods facilities are clearly illustrated. The handling of goods was always more profitable than passenger ticket sales.

The up platform building at Red Rock station seen before renovation in the 1970s.
Photo from the Wigan World collection

Red Rock station as it was in 1978.
Photo received from Stephen Senior

The site of Red Rock station looking north in January 1981.
Photo by John Mann

Looking south-west at the Red Rock goods shed in January 1981.
Photo by John Mann

Looking south at the site of Red Rock Station in May 2006. The station building can be
seen behind the trees on the left.
hoto by Nick Catford

The up platform station building at Red Rock had been incorporated into a house when it was seen in this view from 2003.
Photo by Stephen Senior

click on thumbnail to enlarge




[Source: Nick Catford]

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