Station Name: ROYTON

[Source: Bevan Price & Paul Wright]



Date opened: 21.3.1864
Location: South side of High Barn Street - Houses in Shaw Street now occupy the station site.
Company on opening: Lancashire &Yorkshire Railway.
Date closed to passengers: 16.4.1966
Date closed completely: 16.4.1966
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished, site now redeveloped as a residential area (Shaw Street).
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD922076
Date of visit: 7.8.1965, 16.4.1966 & 22.12.2007

Notes: Royton station was the terminus of a short branch that ran for just under one-and-a-quarter miles from the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railways (L&Y) Oldham Mumps to Rochdale line at Royton Junction. Royton was the only station on the branch. The line was opened primarily to serve the cotton-manufacturing town of Royton which had been missed by the Oldham Mumps to Rochdale line.

Royton Station opened on 21st March 1864. Although the Royton Branch was double-track, the station was provided with only one platform on the south side of the line. This platform was very long, capable of taking an eight-coach train, as from the start it was planned that excursion trains, as well as ordinary passenger services, would use the station. At the west end of the platform
was a single storey-brick building which contained a booking office in a booking hall, a ladies’ waiting room, a gentlemen’s toilet, an office for the stationmaster, a porters’ room and a lamp room. A canopy ran along the length of the building on its platform side. A water tower was provided at the east end of the platform. To the south of the station was a goods shed and, to its north, a number of sidings.

From the start the station was well served by passenger trains, mostly running from Manchester Victoria to Royton via Oldham. In 1922 eighteen services every weekday used the station. In 1923 Royton had become part of the London Midland Scottish Railway (LMS) which, in 1924, considered the branch for electrification as part of a project to electrify many heavily used passenger lines in the Manchester area. The electrification project was never taken forward.

On 1st January 1948 Royton became part of the nationalised British Railways (London Midland Region). The station continued to be well served by passenger trains, but it fell into a state of disrepair. In 1956 British Railways undertook a survey and found that parts of the station were actually dangerous to its users; in particular, the canopy was singled out as a cause for
concern. British Railways considered modernisation of the station, as it was seen as an important source of revenue. However the only action taken was to remove the canopy. In 1958 there were still up to seventeen services per weekday, but Sunday services had ceased by this time. In the early 1960s British Railways introduced two-car Diesel Multiple Units to the line which proved very popular, and even more passengers started to use the line.


On 8th February 1961 two ECS Cravens twin-units ran into the buffers at Royton Station at 40mph at 6:12am. Having demolished the buffer stops and the wall behind it, the train dropped about two feet to the level of High Barn Street and continued across it, entering two houses, and finally coming to rest with its front end projecting into their back yards. The leading
bogie became detached and fell into the cellar of one of the houses. Damage was also caused to adjacent properties in the terrace row. Fortunately one of the properties was a lock-up shop, unoccupied at the time, and, due to the early hour, the occupants of the other houses were upstairs. It was concluded that the driver mishandled the brakes, as well as unwittingly accelerating the train, on the 1 in 62 descent to Royton Station. Five people were injured.

Despite the heavy passenger use the line was earmarked for closure in The Reshaping of British Railways (Beeching) report of 1963. Goods services finished on 2nd November 1964, and the last passenger service departed from Royton at 18:50 on Saturday 16th April 1966; official closure took place on 18th April. Shortly afterwards the line was lifted, and the station was demolished.

Today the site has been developed as a residential area. The adjacent Railway Hotel is the sole remaining indication that a station existed at this location. However, about ¼ mile south from the station site the Shaw Road over-bridge still exists, retained for use by a footpath along part of the track-bed towards Royton Junction.

Source: An Illustrated History Of Oldham's Railways by J. Hooper - Irwell Press 2006
ISBN: 1871608198 and Railcar Association web site. Tickets from Michael Stewart

For more information and pictures of the Royton crash see Railcar Association web site

See also the Oldham Loop Line - click on the station name:
Dean Lane, Failsworth, Hollinwood, Oldham Werneth, Oldham Central, Oldham Mumps, Derker, Royton Junction, Shaw & Crompton, New Hey & Milnrow.


A Manchester Victoria train prepares to depart from the terminus station at Royton in April 1954. The station layout is clearly shown in this picture. At the far end of its long single platform can be seen the station building and canopy. To the rear of the platform is the goods shed and in front
of it there are goods sidings.
Copyright photo by H C Casserley




Royton station shown on a OS map from the 1890s.


By the 1920s the railway facilities at Royton had expanded on both sides of the station. The goods facilities dwarfed the passenger station.

Royton Station in April 1955
Copyright photo from Tony Harden collection


Rail crash at Royton Station on 8th February 1961
Copyright photo by Richard Greenwood from Railcar Association web site

Looking south along the single platform at Royton Station during a visit by the L.C.G.B. Middleton Branch Brakevan Tour on 7 August 1965. The station had lost its canopy by this time but this allows a good view of the single storey brick built building. The land to the left of the picture would have a year or so earlier been covered in extensive sidings. Goods services ceased in 1964 and by the time
this picture was taken the sidings had been lifted.
P
hoto by Bevan Price


Another view of the L.C.G.B. Middleton Branch Brakevan Tour at Royton on 7 August 1965. Ex LMS Fowler 2-6-4T locomotive number 42343 has begun the 'run-around' move
for the return to Royton Junction.


Having run around its train at Royton 42343 is seen coupling up to the brake vans. It would then depart for Royton Junction. The scene at Royton is one of desolation.


Click on thumbnail to enlarge

 

 

 

[Source: Bevan Price & Paul Wright]


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