East Lancashire Line
|East Lancashire Line|
North West England
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|East Lancashire Line|
It is operated by Northern Rail. Services on this line stop at every station on the line, although Pleasington, Huncoat, Hapton and Burnley Barracks are now request stops only. It was designated by the Department for Transport as a community rail line in November 2006.
Network Rail refers to the main part of this line, from Preston to Gannow Junction (where the mainly single-line branch to Burnley Central and Colne diverges) and onwards to Burnley Manchester Road and Hall Royd Junction, as the Roses line.
The line was built by the Blackburn and Preston Railway and the Blackburn, Burnley, Accrington and Colne Extension Railway. Both companies were absorbed by the East Lancashire Railway on 3 August 1846 and 21 July 1845 respectively. The East Lancashire Railway was, in turn, absorbed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway on 13 May 1859.
The line connected end-on at Colne with the Leeds and Bradford Extension Railway's line to Skipton and Bradford. This 11½ mile (18½ km) link closed in 1970. The Skipton - East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership campaigns to reinstate it.
In the 1870s the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway built the North Lancashire Loop (also known as the Great Harwood Loop), a 9-mile (14 km) route through Great Harwood, Simonstone and Padiham, which bypassed Accrington. The line between Padiham and Rose Grove opened in 1875; west of Padiham it opened two years later as a result of difficulties in constructing the embankments between Great Harwood and Simonstone. Regular use of the North Lancashire Loop ceased in 1957; the route closed completely in 1964, with only the section from Rose Grove to Padiham Power Station remaining until 1993.
Services via the Roses line routing encompass the Caldervale Line semi-fast trains from Blackpool North stopping at Preston, Blackburn, Accrington and Burnley Manchester Road, heading towards West Yorkshire, currently terminating at York.
- Lancs. County Council description of East Lancs CRP
- NR Route 23, p2
- Suggitt, Gordon (2003). Lost Railways of Lancashire. Newbury, Berkshire: Countryside Books. pp. 80–82. ISBN 978-1-85306-801-0. OCLC 52565677.