Station Name: ROOKERY 2ND

[Source: Nicholas Crosby & Paul Wright]



Date opened: 1.6.1865
Location: East side of Rookery Lane
Company on opening: London North Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 18.6.1951
Date closed completely: 18.6.1951
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished - a footpath runs through the station site.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD486002
Date of visit: 14.2.2006

Notes: The second Rookery station was on the LNWR St. Helens and Rainford Junction line which had originally been opened by the St Helens Canal & Railway Company (SHC&RC) on 1 February 1858. The line formed part of a through route between St Helens and Ormskirk. The section between Rainford Junction and Ormskirk had been opened by the East Lancashire Railway on 1 March 1858 but since May 1859 it had been under the ownership of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR).

The SHC&RC was absorbed into the LNWR on 1 June 1864 and a new Rookery station was opened a year later on 1 June 1865 some 50 chains to the north of the original which had existed between April 1858 and March 1862. The new station was east of what was then called Bullace Tree Lane. The road was later given its present-day name of Rookery Lane.

When opened, Rookery was on a single-track line, and a wooden platform and station building were constructed to match the platforms and buildings at Moss Bank, Crank and Rainford Village with a distinctive curved roof formed from corrugated iron sheets. Goods facilities were not provided.

The 1869 working timetable showed six trains each way per day on weekdays and three on Sunday.

The LNWR doubled the line between Gerards Bridge Junction and Rainford Village in 1890. The existing platform became the down one for St Helens, and a new standard LNWR brick up platform was built with a small waiting room whose curved roof complemented that of the main building. Access to both platforms was from the level crossing on Bullace Tree Lane (Rookery Lane).

A standard LNWR brick house was built to accommodate railway staff and it remains in use as a private dwelling. Signals to protect the crossing were worked from an LNWR standard 8-lever ground frame.

By 1909 the service had increased to 12 trains each way on weekdays with three on Sunday. This increased to 14 by 1914 but had dropped back to 12 by 1915. There were some alterations to the numbers and timings of trains on Saturday. The Sunday service remained at three trains.

In 1911 the LNWR revamped the services on its line. The LYR had introduced Hughes rail-motors complete with trailer carriages in 1907 on its half of the line from Rainford Junction to Ormskirk. The LNWR had similar plans, but at the last minute, decided to introduce motor trains using small 2-4-2T tank engines; their 4ft 6in driving wheels were fitted with mechanical operating gear that enabled engine’s regulator to be operated from the driving cab of the coach by means of a rod running beneath it. New coaches were specifically constructed for this service in 1911.

By 1920, through services were operated by both companies, with three trains a day from each company making the through journey out of a total of 12. The Sunday service had been discontinued by 1920.

On 1 January 1923 the entire route from St Helens to Ormskirk became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) which brought it under the direction of one company for the first time. The LMS withdrew the original 4ft 6in driving wheel 2-4-2T engines in favour of the 5ft 6in driving wheel version of the 2-4-2T, and the motor train operation was by the LMS vacuum system. The coaches were also replaced with other LNWR coaches converted to use the vacuum system. The same types of engines and coaches were then used until the service was withdrawn.

During the Second World War passenger services were reduced, and although they were increased after the war they did not return to the frequencies of the 1930s. The LMS summer timetable for 1947 showed eight trains each way on Monday-to-Friday with three extra on Saturdays as seen in the table below.

Up Trains Summer 1947

Destination

Down Trains Summer 1947

Destination

6.52am

St Helens Shaw Street

6.37am

Rainford Junction (with an advertised connection to Ormskirk)

7.47am

St Helens Shaw Street

7.10am

Rainford Junction (with an advertised connection to Ormskirk)

8.38am

St Helens Shaw Street

8.10am

Rainford Junction (with an advertised connection to Ormskirk)

1.32pm

St Helens Shaw Street

12.20pm

Rainford Junction (with an advertised connection to Ormskirk)

2.22pm (Saturdays Only)

St Helens Shaw Street

2.05pm (Saturdays Only)

Rainford Junction

4.42pm

St Helens Shaw Street

4.19pm

Rainford Junction (with an advertised connection to Ormskirk)

5.40pm

St Helens Shaw Street

5.13pm

Rainford Junction (with an advertised connection to Ormskirk)

6.35pm

St Helens Shaw Street

6.15pm

Rainford Junction (with an advertised connection to Ormskirk)

7.37pm (Saturdays Only)

St Helens Shaw Street

7.07pm (Saturdays Only)

Rainford Junction

9.51pm

St Helens Shaw Street

9.17pm

Rainford Junction

10.59pm (Saturdays Only)

St Helens Shaw Street

10.42pm (Saturdays Only)

Rainford Junction

On 1 January 1948 Rainford Junction became part of British Railways’ London Midland Region (BR[LMR]). The 1951 timetable showed only six trains per day on weekdays with two additional services on Saturday.

In 1951 BR(LMR) proposed the withdrawal of the St Helens and Rainford Junction service and, despite local opposition, the last trains ran on Saturday 18 June 1951. The wooden up platform and associated buildings were demolished in 1956 with a small brick cabin being provided for the crossing keeper. The brick-built up platform remained in place albeit without its platform shelter.

Goods trains, always more numerous than passenger services, continued to pass through as did some passenger diversions and excursions. Even in 1964 the line had two daily pick up goods services calling at Old Mill Lane sidings, with one continuing on to Rainford Junction, and there were five through freight trains running to/from the north-east.

On 6 July 1964 the section of line between Rookery and Rainford Junction was taken out of use, however the track and signals remained in place and this section of line was officially mothballed. Trains continued to run just to the south of the station to serve the sand washing plant. The plant remained rail-served until 1 January 1967 when the line was cut back to Pilkington Sidings. The track and signals that had remained in place between July 1964 and January 1967 were removed shortly after.

Route map by Alan Young.

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

Sources:

  • Industrial Railways of St Helens, Widnes and Warrington - Part 2 St Helens Coalfield and the Sandfields - C H A Townley & J A Peden - Industrial Railway Society 2002
  • The St Helens Railway, Its Rivals and Successors – J M Tolston – The Oakwood Press 1982

For other Stations on the St. Helens - Rainford Junction line click on the station name: St. Helens (3rd station), Gerards Bridge, Moss Bank, Crank,
Old Mill Lane
, Rookery 1st, Rainford Village
&
Rainford Junction

For Stations on the Rainford Junction - Ormskirk line click on the station name: Rainford Junction, Hey's Crossing Halt, White Moss Level Crossing Halt, Skelmersdale & Westhead Halt

The booking office at Rookery station seen in the late 19th century. The main facilities were housed within this building which was located on the St Helens direction platform.




The second Rookery station shown on a six-inch scale map from 1892.


The second Rookery station shown on a 2:1,500 scale map from 1910.


Looking south-east at Rookery station in 1949.
Copyright photo from Stations UK


Rookery station looking south-east in 1957. At this time regular passenger services along the line had ceased but it was still busy with freight trains.
Photo by Jim Peden


Looking north from the site of Rookery Station in February 2006.
P
hoto by Bevan Price


Looking south at the site of Rookery station in February 2006.
P
hoto by Bevan Price

 

 

 

[Source: Nicholas Crosby & Paul Wright]


Home Page
Last updated: Monday, 22-May-2017 12:02:51 BST
© 2004-2015 Disused Stations