Farnworth railway station

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Farnworth National Rail
Place Farnworth
Local authority Bolton
Coordinates 53°33′01″N 2°23′18″W / 53.5503°N 2.3882°W / 53.5503; -2.3882Coordinates: 53°33′01″N 2°23′18″W / 53.5503°N 2.3882°W / 53.5503; -2.3882
Grid reference SD743060
Station code FNW
Managed by Northern Rail
Number of platforms 2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  21,699
2005/06 Increase 25,244
2006/07 Decrease 22,840
2007/08 Increase 23,830
2008/09 Increase 33,982
2009/10 Increase 36,564
2010/11 Increase 36,816
2011/12 Increase 44,716
2012/13 Decrease 43,740
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Greater Manchester
Original company Manchester, Bolton and Bury Railway
Pre-grouping Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
29 May 1838 Station opened as Tunnel
1841 Station closed
September 1845 Reopened as Halshaw Moor
May 1852 Renamed Halshaw Moor and Farnworth
January 1870 Renamed Farnworth and Halshaw Moor
6 May 1974 Renamed Farnworth
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Farnworth from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Farnworth Railway Station serves the Greater Manchester town of Farnworth, in the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, England. The station has had several names, the present name being adopted on 6 May 1974.[1]

It lies on the Manchester-Preston Line, though only local services run by Northern Rail call here.

The station received a minor upgrade in 2009, with the addition of automated electronic information display systems and automated announcements audio system similar to the system at Lostock station.


The station was first opened by the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Railway on 29 May 1838, and was originally named Tunnel. This station closed in 1841, but was reopened in September 1845, when it took the name of Halshaw Moor. In May 1852 it was renamed Halshaw Moor and Farnworth; in January 1870 Farnworth and Halshaw Moor; and finally on 6 May 1974 it became Farnworth.[2]

Farnworth Tunnel[edit]

The north-west ends of Farnworth tunnel. Original tunnel on left; additional smaller bore of 1880 on right.

To the south-east of the station is Farnworth Tunnel, which has two single-track bores, although when built it had one double-track bore. Originally there was intended to be a cutting, but a tunnel was substituted. This was dug from both ends and also from a shaft at the centre; the main difficulty in construction being the nature of the ground, which consisted of wet sand and clay. It is 295 yards (270 m) long.[3]

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) route north from Blackburn to Hellifield was completed on 1 June 1880, and the Midland Railway (MR) proposed to use this route for a through service between Manchester Victoria and Scotland. The MR intended to use Pullman cars, which were larger than the L&YR coaches, and it was found that some of the tunnels on the route were too small and would need to be enlarged. Among these was Farnworth tunnel, which was also in need of extensive repairs; so instead of enlarging it, it was decided to build a second tunnel alongside. The present down (northbound) single-line tunnel was commenced on 26 April 1880 and brought into use on 5 December that year, although Parliamentary approval for its construction had not been obtained: it was applied for in February 1881 and granted retrospectively on 18 July that year. Once it was in use, the two tracks through the original tunnel were replaced by a single track along the centre; the tunnel lining was repaired and thickened, and this tunnel then formed the up (southbound) single-line tunnel.[4]

As part of the forthcoming electrification scheme, the original tunnel will be enlarged yet again to allow sufficient clearance for the overhead wires and for both lines to be routed through it once again.[5] The 1880 bore will initially be retained to permit a limited diesel service over the route to continue during the upgrade work, but will then be abandoned as clearances within are too restricted to allow safe operation with overhead wires. This will also require realignment of the lines and consequent alterations to the platforms that they serve.


From Farnworth there is an hourly service northbound to Wigan Wallgate and southwards and eastwards to Rochdale via Manchester Victoria from early morning until early evening.

There is one late evening service (Monday-Saturday) at 23:13 to Bolton and Wigan Wallgate.

There is no Sunday service.


  1. ^ Slater, J.N., ed. (July 1974). "Notes and News: Stations renamed by LMR". Railway Magazine (London: IPC Transport Press Ltd) 120 (879): 363. ISSN 0033-8923. 
  2. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. pp. 235, 112, 94. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  3. ^ Marshall, John (1969). The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, volume 1. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 29. ISBN 0-7153-4352-1. 
  4. ^ Marshall 1969, pp. 190,192
  5. ^ "Powering Ahead" Railway Strategies article 25-03-2014; Retrieved 2014-09-06

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Kearsley   Northern Rail
Manchester-Southport Line
Mondays-Saturdays only
  Moses Gate