Station Name: WEST LEIGH


[Source: Paul Wright & Bevan Price]

Date opened: 13.6.1831
Location: A579 Atherleigh Way runs through the station site which is west of Walmesley Road.
Company on opening: Bolton & Leigh Railway.
Date closed to passengers: 29.3.1954
Date closed completely: 29.3.1954
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished. Site & trackbed taken over by A579.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD651003
Date of visit: 22.4.2006

Notes: West Leigh Station opened as Leigh and was situated on the Kenyon Junction to Bolton line which had opened in stages from 1828 to 1831 as the 'Bolton and Leigh Railway'. The first section of the line from Bolton to Chequerbent opened on 28.8.1828. The line had been engineered by George Stephenson and it was one of his locomotives, the Lancashire Witch, that made the inaugural run. The line had reached Leigh by March 1830 but it was not until 2.6.1831 when the line had reached Kenyon Junction on the famous Liverpool and Manchester Railway that passenger services began. The first passenger run was an excursion from Bolton to Newton for a horse racing event.

The station was renamed as West Leigh on 1 August 1876. The name sometimes appeared as Westleigh rather than West Leigh, but the latter version was used in all the timetables. The station was provided with two platforms. The station was served by trains running between Great Moor Street and points to the west of Kenyon Junction. By the 1930's over 20 trains per day operated.

By the 1950's traffic levels had dwindled to six services running between Bolton and Kenyon Junction or Warrington. West Leigh Station closed to regular passenger services on 27.3.1954.

For several years after formal closure, the station was used for holiday excursions and for rugby specials for the nearby Leigh RLFC ground at Hilton Park. The line was on a low embankment which was removed during the construction of Atherleigh Way. The only indication of the existence of a former railway is the nearby Railway Hotel.

To see the other stations on the Bolton Great Moor Street - Kenyon Junction line click on the station name: Kenyon Junction, Pennington, Atherleigh, Atherton Bag Lane, Chequerbent 1st, Chequerbent 2nd, Daubhill 1st, Rumworth & Daubhill & Bolton Great Moor Street


West Leigh Station looking north in 1950
Photo received from Steven Buckley

West Leigh Station site in May 2006. In the distance, beyond the roundabout, the road rises to the elevation of the rail embankment.
hoto by Bevan Price

West Leigh Station looking north in 1954
Photo received from Steven Buckley

Click on thumbnail to enlarge




[Source: Paul Wright & Bevan Price]

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