Entwistle railway station

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Entwistle National Rail
Entwistle Railway Station.jpg
Local authorityBlackburn with Darwen
Coordinates53°39′22″N 2°24′54″W / 53.656°N 2.415°W / 53.656; -2.415Coordinates: 53°39′22″N 2°24′54″W / 53.656°N 2.415°W / 53.656; -2.415
Grid referenceSD727177
Station codeENT
Managed byNorthern
Number of platforms1
DfT categoryF2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Decrease 14,762
2014/15Increase 15,036
2015/16Decrease 10,596
2016/17Increase 16,662
2017/18Decrease 12,852
Original companyBolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe and West Yorkshire Railway
Pre-groupingLancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Post-groupingLondon Midland and Scottish Railway
1 August 1848Opened[1]
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Entwistle from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

The rural Entwistle railway station is served by Northern services on the Manchester Victoria/Bolton 'Ribble Valley' Line towards Blackburn and Clitheroe in England. The station is 5 34 miles (9.3 km) north of Bolton.

It is the closest station to Edgworth, but lack of parking and a difficult approach along minor roads make it unpopular with commuters. Not all trains call here and, unlike nearby Bromley Cross the station lies outside the Transport for Greater Manchester boundary, meaning that passengers cannot take advantage of their special offers and ticketing. Owing to the remote location and low passenger numbers, Entwistle has been a request stop for several years. This means passengers wishing to board must signal to the driver (as they would for a bus) and those wishing to alight must inform the conductor.

The original station opened in August 1848, being relocated from Whittlestone Head station to the north.[2] A more substantial stone building was built in 1859, as part of a larger contract, with similar stations being erected along the branch at The Oaks, Bromley Cross and Turton, by Manchester firm Joseph Greenup and Co. Demolition took place around the mid-1970s, several years after the station closed. The station also exhibited a large outside wall platform clock, as still seen at 'sister' station Bromley Cross today. The 1859 contract was for both a station building and staff 'cottage' as erected at other stations along the branch.[3] The station building was actually more extended than the buildings seen at the other stations, with private dwelling accommodation included for the station master. Thus, the 1871 Census of Population revealed that resident at Entwistle Station was SM William Davies, 24, his wife Ann, 23 and infant daughter Mary, 1, plus two family visitors, one being the railway telegraph clerk at Clitheroe.[4] By the early 1900s, new accommodation was built for railway workers with the new railway terrace of cottages located in the lane beyond The Strawberry Duck Inn. The 1891 O.S. map survey[5] revealed that only two immediately nearby cottages existed - The Strawbury Duck Inn (then called Bridge House) and also a divided cottage alongside, Bridge Cottages. Entwistle also served the factories at Know Mill. Until recently the remains of an overhead cable railway, connecting the factory to the railway goods yard, were visible in an adjoining woods. The mills were demolished when the level of the Wayoh Reservoir was raised and the station was reduced in size following the Beeching report of 1963 and the singling of the Bromley Cross to Blackburn section of the line a decade later. Entwistle goods yard closed in November 1959. One easily missed surviving historical feature alongside the station access path and close to the entrance gate, is the carved 'LYR' boundary marker stone, one of several that remain in place in the section between Bromley Cross and Entwistle. Entwistle also has in place its traditional 'York' platform flag stones, but much of this is now covered over by modern anti-slip rubberised boarding sheets. In winter, with vegetation died back, the fenced off central platform area reveals around nine exactly four feet long by 10in across stone blocks, with a semi-circular groove neatly cut along their full lengths. These were left behind in the mid-1970s following demolition of the original station and may have been part of the upper station building walls where the drainage guttering sat over. A useful modern facility installed on the platform and ready to operate in 2019 is a train running electronic display board, seen at most other stations along the branch, which will greatly assist waiting passengers at this remote station who are not equipped with smartphone train running APP technology.

Signal Box[edit]

Typically for this branch line, a Yardley/Smith type 1 brick signal box opened here in 1876, situated on the Down side north of the station, containing an 18 lever Smith frame. This box was replaced in Jan 1904 by a new 60 lever, gantry-mounted size 12 L&YR box, in connection with the quadrupling of the line through to Waltons Siding 1453 yds to the north.[6] Numerous highly detailed large scale original drawings survive for this track enhancement and related works from the early 1900s[7]Included with the plans is a letter sent by the railway company secretary to The Board of Trade in April 1904 which discloses that 'the old station has been reconstructed. It now consists of an island platform 596 feet long.' It is also revealed that the station is situated on a gradient of 1 in 77. It clearly took a few years to put the track and station works in place as the authorisation for it was the L&YR Act of 1897. The signal box spanned the fast running lines and it is reported that it was a very draughty place of work, with its floorboards lifting like piano keys when a loco steaming hard passed underneath it. The box closed in 1968 when the through fast lines were taken out of use.

Media appearances[edit]

The station has been used as a location for filming on more than one occasion:

In the 1986 film adaptation of Jeffrey Archer's novel First Among Equals, the sequences at the fictional Redfern Station were filmed there.

In Episode 2 of Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere, the station featured as "Middlewood station" (not to be confused with a real life station of the same name on the Buxton Line) due to its supposedly rural backwater location.


The service has recently improved to more or less hourly throughout the week,[8] although it remains a request stop. The success of this enhancement all depends on the fate of the local Strawbury Duck public house in Entwistle village. The station was used heavily by pub drinkers before being closed down, but has been reopened under new management as of June 2010.


  1. ^ 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. 92. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  2. ^ Marshall, John (1969). The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, volume 1. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 181. ISBN 0-7153-4352-1.
  3. ^ original railway co minutes held at National Archives, Kew on RAIL 52/4
  4. ^ microfilm sheet RG10/3930, 1871 Census of Population, Lancashire CC Record Office
  5. ^ Lancashire Sheet 10, survey date 1891, pub. 1893
  6. ^ Littleworth, Chris (2002). Signal Boxes on Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Lines: North-East Lancashire. Signalling Record Society. ISBN 1-873228-21-X.[page needed]
  7. ^ L&YR Entwistle - widening of line (7 plans), 1904, at ref A19/4/22. (with other plans available) Greater Manchester County Record Office, Central Library
  8. ^ GB eNRT December 2105 Edition, Table 94

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Darwen   Northern
Ribble Valley Line
  Bromley Cross
  Historical railways  
Spring Vale   L&YR
Bolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe and West Yorkshire Railway
  Turton and Edgworth