Station Name: ROOKERY 1ST

[Source: Nicholas Crosby & Paul Wright]



Date opened: End of 1858
Location: South of Rookery Lane
Company on opening: St Helens Canal & Railway Company
Date closed to passengers: March 1862
Date closed completely: March 1862
Company on closing: St Helens Canal & Railway Company
Present state: Demolished - a footpath runs through the station site.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SJ488999 (approximate)
Date of visit: 14.2.2006

Notes: The first Rookery station was situated on the St Helens Canal & Railway Company’s (SHC&RC) St Helens and Rainford Junction line which opened on 1 February 1858. The line was actually part of a through route between St Helens and Ormskirk, the section between Rainford Junction and Ormskirk being built by the East Lancashire Railway (ELR). Both companies had co-operated on building the two lines, the relevant Acts being granted on the same day in 1853. At Rainford Junction the line connected with the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR) Liverpool and Wigan line.

Rookery station opened towards the end of 1858 and consisted of a simple wooden hut erected to gauge the passenger demand. Its location is the subject of conjecture and the only clue is the statement that the second Rookery station was 50 chains north of the original first.

Rookery was served by four trains per day in each direction between St Helens and Rainford Junction. As it was not a success the SHC&RC closed it in March 1862. It was quickly demolished leaving no trace.

A new Rookery station was opened by the LNWR on 1 June 1865.

In the area of the original Rookery station, sidings were provided to serve what became Rainford Potteries in 1868. Further sidings were added in 1880 to serve Pilkington’s sand-quarrying operations. A sand wash was later constructed and continued to be rail-served until 1 January 1967 when goods services were withdrawn between Pilkington Sidings and Old Mill Lane.

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 (2nd), 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 site of the first Rookery station is the subject of some debate. It does appear on a map from the late 1850s (see below) and the second Rookery station was described as being 50 chains to the north of the original. The photo above was taken in 1928 and the blue arrow marks the probable location of the first Rookery station.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Simmons Aerofilms Ltd

Rookery station shown on a six-inch scale map from 1858. There is nothing to show the exact location of the station but it is assumed to be above the word house to the north-west of the milepost.


Looking south towards the site of the first Rookery station in 2006. The station was roughly where a blue building can be seen in the distance.

 

 

 

[Source: Nicholas Crosby & Paul Wright]


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