Station Name: SKELMERSDALE

[Source: Paul Wright & Bevan Price]


Date opened: 1.3.1858
Location: Railway Road (B5312) runs through the station site. Station was on the south side of the Ormskirk Road (A577) roundabout.
Company on opening: East Lancashire Railway
Date closed to passengers: 5.11.1956
Date closed completely: 4.11.1963
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished - site and trackbed occupied by B5312 Railway Road
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD464063
Date of visit: 19.2.2006

Notes: Originally called Blague Gate the station was part of what became the St. Helens to Ormskirk via Rainford Junction line. The route was effectively made up of two different lines that opened within a month of each other. The station was situated on the Ormskirk to Rainford Junction line which was opened by East Lancashire Railway on 1.3.1858. The other part of the line ran from Rainford Junction to St. Helens and was opened by the St. Helens Railway. Shortly after opening the Ormskirk to Rainford section of the line became part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. By 1864 the St. Helens Railway was part of the LNWR.

On 1.8.1874 the station was renamed as Skelmersdale. The station had two platforms with brick built booking facilities on the Northbound (Ormskirk) platform. For southbound (Rainford Junction) passengers a wooden shelter very similar to those on the Rainford Junction to St. Helens line was provided. At the stations north end there was a level crossing controlled by a signalbox on the east side of the tracks. From its opening it was served by trains running between Ormskirk and Rainford Junction.

Three halts opened on the line south of the station at White Moss (1907) and at Hey's (1911) and north of the station at Westhead (1907). The halts opened to coincide with the commencement by the L&Y of a railmotor service. This service provided 19 return trips per day. In 1923 the entire route became part of the LMS but they continued to operate the same pattern of service. Effectively anyone wishing to travel to St. Helens had to change at Rainford Junction. The LMS however did replace the Railmotor with a push pull locomotive and coaches.

By the mid 20th century passenger levels had declined and in 1951 the Rainford Junction to St. Helens line closed to passengers and so did the three 1906 Railmotor halts. Skelmersdale continued to be served by trains to Ormskirk and Rainford Junction until 5.11.1956. The line lingered on for goods services until 1964. Today there is nothing left of the station or the line at Skelmersdale much of the formation has been used to accommodate a road, aptly named Railway Road.

Other web sites: Skelmersdale local history archives - for further information on Skelmersdale and the Rainford Junction - Ormskirk line

For other Stations on the St. Helens - Ormskirk line click on the station name: St. Helens (3rd station), Gerards Bridge, Moss Bank, Crank, Old Mill Lane, Rookery, Rainford Village, Rainford Junction (St. Helens platform), Rainford Junction (Ormskirk platform), Hey's Crossing Halt, White Moss Level Crossing Halt & Westhead Halt


Skelmersdale station in the early 20th Century
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection



Skelmersdale station looking north in 1907


Skelmersdale station looking north in 1965, two years after closure.
Photo by Keith Rose


Looking south towards the site of Skelmersdale station in February 2006
Photo by Bevan Price

Click on thumbnail to enlarge


 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright & Bevan Price]


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