Blackrod railway station

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Blackrod National Rail
Blackrod Station Platform.jpg
Place Blackrod
Local authority Bolton
Coordinates 53°35′28″N 2°34′12″W / 53.591°N 2.570°W / 53.591; -2.570Coordinates: 53°35′28″N 2°34′12″W / 53.591°N 2.570°W / 53.591; -2.570
Grid reference SD623106
Station code BLK
Managed by Northern
Number of platforms 2
DfT category F1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 0.456 million
2012/13 Increase 0.573 million
2013/14 Increase 0.589 million
2014/15 Decrease 0.545 million
2015/16 Increase 0.596 million
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Blackrod from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Blackrod railway station serves the village of Blackrod, England, 6.5 miles (10 km ) north west of Bolton railway station. It is just 1 14 miles (2.0 km) from the town centre of Horwich - closer than Horwich Parkway station.

It lies on the Manchester-Preston Line and is served by Northern, who run local stopping trains between Manchester Victoria and Blackpool North. Manchester Airport to Blackpool North expresses also serve the station at peak times. Despite its high passenger usage and the recent refurbishment (see below) the station is currently unstaffed.


The station was opened on 4 February 1841 as Horwich Road by the Manchester and Bolton Railway. It was renamed Horwich and Blackrod, then Horwich Junction, then Horwich and Blackrod junction, finally Blackrod in 1888 [1]

Blackrod was once the junction for a short branch to serve the original Horwich station (closed to passengers on 27 September 1965[2]) and Horwich Locomotive Works (sold in 1988, after which the line was closed and lifted). Until the 1980s, Blackrod had a poor frequency of service,[3] but for many years it has been a popular commuter station.

Technical Railway Information[edit]

The station had until recently a signal box, the only one on the entire Manchester to Preston route. This had outlasted the others as it acted as the 'fringe' to both the Manchester Piccadilly signalling centre and Preston PSB. The train description system used in the Preston installation was incompatible with that installed at Piccadilly[4] so the signaller at Blackrod had to transfer train data manually from one system to the other as each one passed through his/her control area. A similar situation existed at Bromley Cross on the Bolton to Blackburn line, where the two control areas also overlap.[5]
Network Rail announced in May 2012 that the box was due to be abolished in January 2013, with control passing to the Piccadilly signalling centre. This is part of a programme of signalling renewals associated with the planned electrification of the Manchester to Preston line (due for completion in 2016). The box was duly decommissioned on 10 February 2013 and subsequently demolished.[6]

Blackrod in 1962

2012 Refurbishment[edit]

Over one million pounds' worth of improvements to the station (including the removal of the footbridge shown in the photo and its replacement with step-free access ramps) were completed in November 2012.[7]


There is currently an hourly daytime service (including Sundays) to Manchester Victoria southbound and to Preston and Blackpool North northbound, with some Monday to Friday peak extras.[8]

Services between Manchester Airport or Hazel Grove and Blackpool are not as frequent,[9] with only a few services during weekday rush hours.


  1. ^ Butt, R.V.J., (1995) The Directory of Railway Stations, Yeovil: Patrick Stephens
  2. ^ Disused Stations - HorwichDisused Stations - Horwich; Retrieved 16 August 2016
  3. ^ BR Timetable 1973, table 96
  4. ^ "Blackrod Station - Blackrod Junction signal box". Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  5. ^ "Bromley Cross signal box". Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  6. ^ Blackrod Station - Past & Present website news article; Retrieved 2012-10-29
  7. ^ "Passengers to benefit from over £1 million investment at Blackrod station". Northern Rail News. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  8. ^ GB eNRT December 2016 Edition, Table 82
  9. ^ "Passenger Train Slots" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-10-04. [permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Adlington   Northern
Manchester-Preston Line
  Horwich Parkway
Chorley   TransPennine Express
TransPennine North West
Limited Services
  Horwich Parkway
Historical railways
Line and station open
  Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Bolton and Preston Railway
  Lostock Lane
Line open, station closed
Disused railways
Terminus   Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Horwich Branch
Line and station closed