Liverpool and Bury Railway
|Liverpool and Bury Railway|
LOPR and LBR diverge.
North West England
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in
The Liverpool and Bury Railway was formed in 1845 and opened on 28 November 1848. The line ran from Liverpool Exchange first using a joint line with Liverpool, Ormskirk and Preston Railway before branching off to proceed via Kirkby then Wigan and Bolton to Bury.
In 1846 the line merged with the Manchester & Leeds Railway being eventually finished after the merger to form the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR). The portion of the line west of Crow Nest Junction eventually formed part of the LYR's 59.5 kilometres (37 mi) Liverpool to Manchester route via a junction with the Manchester and Southport Railway at Wigan. From 1858 the line was connected to the Skelmersdale Branch and the St. Helens Railway at Rainford Junction. A short tunnel was bored through a hill between Upholland station and Orrell station.
The line today
With the exception of the section from Bolton to Bury (closed on 5 October 1970, along with the continuation through to Castleton) the line is still in use, though Liverpool Exchange station closed in the 1970s being replaced by Liverpool Moorfields in Merseyrail's Link Tunnel.
The line from Liverpool city centre to Kirkby is electrified with a DC third rail forming a part of Merseyrail's Northern Line. At present, services from Kirkby onwards are operated by diesel trains though there are plans for the Merseyrail electrified line to be extended towards Wigan with a new terminus at Headbolt Lane. Long term aspirations are to extend Merseyrail to Wigan on this line. The Wigan to Bolton section meanwhile is used by Manchester Airport to Southport and Wigan to Manchester Victoria local services.
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