Wigan Wallgate railway station

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Wigan Wallgate National Rail
Place Wigan
Local authority Wigan
Coordinates 53°32′42″N 2°38′02″W / 53.5449°N 2.6339°W / 53.5449; -2.6339Coordinates: 53°32′42″N 2°38′02″W / 53.5449°N 2.6339°W / 53.5449; -2.6339
Grid reference SD581055
Station code WGW
Managed by Northern Rail
Number of platforms 3
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  0.411 million
2005/06 Increase 0.432 million
2006/07 Increase 1.285 million
2007/08 Decrease 0.918 million
2008/09 Increase 1.325 million
2009/10 Increase 1.454 million
2010/11 Increase 1.574 million
2011/12 Increase 1.661 million
2012/13 Decrease 1.648 million
2013/14 Increase 1.688 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Greater Manchester
Original company Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Pre-grouping Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
2 February 1896 (1896-02-02) Opened as Wigan
2 June 1924 Renamed Wigan Wallgate
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Wigan Wallgate from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal
Wigan Wallgate station platforms in 1976, before the buildings were replaced
View along the platform in the Manchester direction, with the rear of the main station building visible on the road overbridge.
View along the platform in the Southport direction. The bay platform (Plat 3) is clearly visible in the foreground.
Lines around Wigan in 1907

Wigan Wallgate railway station is one of two main railway stations serving the town of Wigan in Greater Manchester, England. The station is on 2 lines, the Manchester-Southport Line and the Manchester-Kirkby Line. It is (16 miles) north west of Manchester Victoria (distance via Atherton). It is also the starting point of the Wigan-Manchester Line. The station is managed by Northern Rail, who operate all trains serving it.

Wigan's other main station is Wigan North Western, which is about 110 yards (100 m) away, on the opposite side of the street named Wallgate.[1]

The apparent sharp increase in usage 2006/7 (right) is in fact due to a change in the way passengers to and from "Wigan Stations" were allocated between Wigan Wallgate and Wigan North Western. The 2007/8 blip is again due to the Strategic Rail Authority's constant attempts to allocate grouped stations' passengers accurately.


There are three platforms, two through platforms and one bay platform for trains departing towards Southport or Kirkby. Platforms are below street level and reached via a flight of stairs from the street level concourse which contains a ticket office and a newsagent. However, a goods lift has been modified for passenger use.


  • 1855   The railway opened between Wigan and Southport on 9 April 1855. Wigan's L&YR station was then relocated to a position west of where Wallgate station is today.
  • 1868   The L&YR introduced a passenger service on 14 September 1868 between Wigan L&YR station and Chorley, using a newly opened route from Hindley to Blackrod, near Horwich.
    On 1 November 1869, the Chorley trains were extended to Blackburn. The L&NWR ran a competing service from Wigan L&NWR via Boar's Head, which shared the same route from Adlington onwards to Blackburn.
  • 1889   A bypass line opened on 1 June 1889 between Hindley and Pemberton, passing to the south of Wigan. This allowed a faster journey for the L&YR's Manchester – Liverpool expresses by avoiding Wigan station. Express trains from Liverpool continued to serve Wigan on the route to Bury, Rochdale and West Yorkshire.
    The by-pass line was also used by freight trains to and from Liverpool Docks, which benefited by avoiding the Wigan L&YR station area.
  • 1896   The L&YR opened its Wigan station on its current site on 2 February 1896. The railway company had received extensive criticism regarding the standard of its station and facilities since it opened the line through the town in 1848. In 1896 Wigan finally received a railway station in line with the town's size and importance.
  • 1924   Renamed from "Wigan" to "Wigan Wallgate" on 2 June 1924.[2]
  • 1960   Passenger trains between Wigan Wallgate, Chorley and Blackburn via Hindley were withdrawn on 4 January 1960.
  • 1968   The last steam trains ran on British Railways and by this time most services through Wigan Wallgate had been converted to diesel multiple unit (DMU) operation. The steam loco depot just west of Wallgate was closed and the sidings converted for stabling of DMUs. The 1965 British Rail (London Midland) timetable still shows express trains (Liverpool Exchange to Yorkshire and beyond) using or bypassing Wigan Wallgate.
  • 1969   The direct line from Hindley to Pemberton was closed on 14 July 1969 and all Manchester to Liverpool Exchange trains were routed through Wallgate.
  • 1970   The line from Bolton to Rochdale via Bury was closed on 5 October 1970. Trains from Liverpool now generally terminated at Bolton. Southport trains provided the main service to and from Manchester Victoria.
  • 1977   On 30 April 1977, the former L&YR terminus at Liverpool Exchange was closed. Trains were re-routed onto a new underground line beneath Liverpool city centre to Moorfields and Liverpool Central. Since diesel multiple units could not operate in the tunnels, trains from the Wigan line initially terminated at Sandhills (the last surface station), with passengers transferring to or from electric trains on the Southport or Ormskirk lines for the short trip into Liverpool city centre.
  • 1977   During the early and mid-1970s, the frequency of British Rail's trains from Wigan Wallgate was reduced. Services operated at irregular intervals, those from the Liverpool line ran only as far as Wigan or Bolton and there were no off-peak trains on the Atherton line.
    In May 1977, the train service was significantly improved under the financial sponsorship of Greater Manchester PTE. GMPTE subsidised BR to operate a regular interval timetable throughout the day, including stopping trains via the Atherton line. The improved frequency resulted in an increase in off-peak passenger numbers.
  • 1978   The trains to Liverpool (which had terminated at Sandhills following the opening of the Merseyrail link to Liverpool Central) were cut back to Kirkby. This happened when Merseyrail completed electrification of the western section of line between Liverpool and Kirkby. The diesel train from Wigan was scheduled to meet an electric train from Liverpool at Kirkby and passengers transfer trains to complete their journeys. This arrangement continues at Kirkby today.
  • 1978   The Victorian-era buildings on the station platform at Wallgate were demolished and new structures erected. The street level building remained largely unscathed.
  • 1988   Prior to 1988, passengers travelling to Manchester were limited to arriving or departing at one station – the ex-L&YR terminus at Manchester Victoria. In May 1988 a new rail link was opened in Salford, which allowed trains from Wigan and Bolton to use the lines into either Salford Central and Victoria, or Deansgate, Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations.
    In addition to an improved choice of central Manchester termini, most local trains from Wigan were extended to suburban destinations on the far side of Greater Manchester, or beyond.
    In particular, the trains to or from Southport tend to be directed onto longer suburban routes south of Manchester. The exact destination varies with each timetable revision, but in recent years, Southport trains have run through to Buxton or Chester, via Stockport. Currently, the Southport trains run to Manchester Airport (via Bolton) or Stalybridge (via Walkden).
  • 2003–2004   A major refurbishment of infrastructure was completed in October 2004. The £12 million project involved a complete renewal of the track and signalling at Wallgate station and the adjacent carriage sidings. The LMS-era colour light signalling was replaced with a modern electronic control system.

During Summer 2012, the ticket office was rebuilt and refurbished.


All passenger train services are provided by Northern Rail and operated by Class 142, Class 150 and Class 156 DMUs. Class 153 DMUs are banned from this station because the body-side steps under the doors foul the platform coping stones here.[3] During Monday to Saturday daytimes, this is the regular service pattern.

Hindley, Westhoughton, Bolton, Moses Gate, Farnworth, Kearsley, Salford Crescent, Salford Central and Manchester Victoria
Hindley, Daisy Hill, Atherton, Walkden, Swinton, Salford Crescent, Salford Central and Manchester Victoria.
Hindley, Westhoughton, Bolton, Salford Crescent, Manchester Deansgate, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport
  • 1 train per hour (tph) to Stalybridge (via Victoria) calling:
Bolton, Salford Crescent, Salford Central, Manchester Victoria, Ashton-under-Lyne and Stalybridge.
  • 1 train per hour to Todmorden (via Victoria) calling:
Ince,, Hindley, Daisy Hill, Hag Fold, Atherton, Walkden, Moorside, Swinton , Salford Crescent, Salford Central, Manchester Victoria, Mills Hill, Castleton, Rochdale, Smithy Bridge, Littleborough and Todmorden
  • 2 trains per hour (tph) to Southport calling:
Gathurst, Appley Bridge, Parbold, Hoscar, Burscough Bridge, New Lane, Bescar Lane, Meols Cop and Southport
Gathurst, Appley Bridge, Parbold, Burscough Bridge and Southport
  • 1 train per hour (tph) to Kirkby calling:
Pemberton, Orrell, Upholland, Rainford and Kirkby

Connections are available at Kirkby and Southport for Merseyrail's Northern Line trains to Liverpool Central involving a change at these stations.

On Sundays there is an hourly service to Southport and Stockport via Bolton & Manchester Piccadilly (with two-hourly extensions to Chester via Altrincham or Hazel Grove) but no trains to Kirkby.

Previously there was no Sunday service on the Atherton line, this changed in May 2010 when a 12-month trial of an hourly Sunday service began between Wallgate and Manchester Victoria via Atherton (after Greater Manchester PTA agreed a funding package with train operator Northern Rail in December 2009[4]). Transport for Greater Manchester hope to have the Sunday service become a requirement of the Northern refranchising from September 2013.

There was a limited freight service through Wigan Wallgate until recently, operated by EWS and running to Knowsley Freight Terminal on the Kirkby line - these are however currently (May 2010) suspended. Most freight services through Wigan run through Wigan North Western railway station on the WCML.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 250. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199. 
  3. ^ http://northernrailways.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4551&start=30
  4. ^ "New Sunday services for rail line". BBC News. 20 December 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2009. 


  • Holt. G.O. (1986), A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain – vol.10 The North West, David & Charles, ISBN 0-946537-34-8

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Gathurst or
Appley Bridge
  Northern Rail
Manchester-Southport Line or
Manchester Airport-Southport
  Ince or
Hindley or
Pemberton   Northern Rail
Kirkby Branch Line
  Ince or
Hindley or
Terminus   Northern Rail
Manchester Victoria/Manchester Airport-Wigan Wallgate
  Hindley or
Appley Bridge
or Gathurst
or Terminus
  Northern Rail
Mid-Cheshire Line or
Hazel Grove/Stockport/Chester-Southport/Wigan Wallgate
Terminus   Northern Rail
Buxton Line