Burscough Junction railway station
|Location||Burscough, West Lancashire|
|Managed by||Northern Trains|
|Classification||DfT category F2|
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road
Burscough Junction pronounced (Burs/co Junction) is one of two railway stations serving the small West Lancashire town of Burscough in the north-west of England. It is sited on the Ormskirk Branch Line, 2 1⁄2 miles (4.0 km) north of Ormskirk and is served by Northern Trains. The station was the scene of the Burscough Junction Station Crash in 1880.
The line sees a Monday-Saturday service of approximately every hour each way (since the May 2018 timetable change), with northbound services running through to Blackpool South (though not advertised as such in the timetable). There is no Sunday service.
The station opened in April 1849, and enjoyed a regular service to numerous destinations, including Preston, Blackburn, Southport and Liverpool. From the autumn of 1968, stopping express services to Scotland and the Lake District were withdrawn. In October of the following year, through trains to Blackburn also ceased and the remaining Blackpool to Liverpool stopping service was cut back to Ormskirk, leaving only local services and a few non-stop expresses; the line was severed entirely at Ormskirk from 4 May 1970. Singling followed at the end of June 1970. Unlike the other stations at Croston and Rufford, Burscough Junction retained its station buildings for a few years. These were demolished at the end of 1973, and replaced with the current, extremely basic, arrangement.
The other station in Burscough is Burscough Bridge, and is only ten minutes away by foot. The name "Junction" is an anachronism: similar to Dalston Junction in London, the station no longer serves such a purpose.
Only one platform remains in use, with basic shelters and a long-line public address system. There are ticket machines which require card, so passengers paying cash will need to pay on the train. The platform is fully DDA-compliant, with step free access from the main entrance on Station Lane.
During the rail restructuring of the 1960s and 1970s, the "Burscough Curves", which formed a link between the Ormskirk-Preston and Southport-Wigan lines were removed, although the formation survives. The North Curve was taken out of use and severed in July 1969, being lifted in 1973: it was last used for a Saturdays only empty train from Blackpool to Southport. The South Curve was singled in 1970, but remained in use to serve the extensive sidings at the MOD depot located just to the north of Burscough Junction station. It saw its last train in 1982.
The passenger service from Ormskirk to Burscough Junction and on to Southport, which used the southern curve, was withdrawn in 1962 as can be seen from the British Rail London Midland Region Timetable of that year.
Pressure from local transport groups, West Lancashire Borough Council and former Southport MP John Pugh has not so far persuaded Network Rail to reinstate the curves. Various schemes have been proposed, including the full electrification of the line from Southport via Burscough to Ormskirk using the same third rail system as Merseyrail. This proposal would allow users of the Ormskirk branch of Merseyrail's Northern Line to reach Southport without having to travel via Sandhills.
In June 2009, the Association of Train Operating Companies, in its Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network report, called for funding for the reopening of this line as part of a £500m scheme to open 33 stations on 14 lines closed in the Beeching Axe, including seven new parkway stations. The uses of the curves in a new service pattern has been identified by Network Rail, if electrified along with the through lines.
Battery trains as enabler to open the curves
The New Merseyrail Fleet A Platform For Future Innovations document, mentions regarding Ormskirk-Preston enhancements, that there is the potential to use battery powered Merseyrail units that may improve the business case for opening the curves. The document states there will be a review after the Merseyrail units have been tested for battery operation in 2020.
In March 2020, the MPs for Southport, South Ribble, West Lancs and Preston (Damien Moore, Katherine Fletcher, Rosie Cooper and Sir Mark Hendrick) along with Lancashire County Council leader Geoff Driver united in a bid to pressure Network Rail and the Government to reinstate the curves.
There is now no physical connection between the electric Merseyrail line at Ormskirk, and the Ormskirk-Preston line; passengers travelling from Liverpool must change to a diesel train at Ormskirk to continue to Preston.
- Rosbottom, Ernest (1987) Burscough - The story of an agricultural village. pp.179, 182. Carnegie Press
- Table 99 National Rail timetable, May 2019
- Burscough Junction station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 28 November 2016
- British Railways London Midland Region Working Timetable May 1969-May 1970.
- "BBC NEWS - England - Operators call for new rail lines". BBC News. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
- "Connecting Communities – Expanding Access to the Rail Network" (PDF). London: Association of Train Operating Companies. June 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
- "Network RUS Electrification" (PDF). October 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- Houston, Hayley (29 March 2020). "Southport, Preston and West Lancs MPs launch Burscough curve rail bid". accrington. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
- "New study into Curves rail link", Harry James, The Champion, 27 February 2008, p. 9
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Burscough Junction railway station.|
- Train times and station information for Burscough Junction railway station from National Rail
- Potential Rail Improvements in North Western England - Evidence presented to the Transport Select Committee, 2002–03
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
Ormskirk Branch Line
|Burscough Bridge||Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Burscough Curves South