Newton-le-Willows railway station

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Newton-le-Willows National Rail
Booking office, Newton-Le-Willows railway station (geograph 3818412).jpg
Newton-le-Willows railway station
Place Newton-le-Willows
Local authority St Helens
Coordinates 53°27′11″N 2°36′50″W / 53.453°N 2.614°W / 53.453; -2.614Coordinates: 53°27′11″N 2°36′50″W / 53.453°N 2.614°W / 53.453; -2.614
Grid reference SJ593953
Station code NLW
Managed by Northern
Number of platforms 2
DfT category E
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 0.645 million
2012/13 Increase 0.671 million
2013/14 Increase 0.711 million
2014/15 Increase 0.747 million
2015/16 Increase 0.776 million
– Interchange   0.131 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Merseytravel
Zone A1
Original company London and North Western Railway
Pre-grouping London and North Western Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
1845 Opened as Newton Bridge
14 June 1888 Renamed Newton-le-Willows
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Newton-le-Willows from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Newton-le-Willows railway station is a railway station in the town of Newton-le-Willows, in the borough of St Helens in the north-west of England, and at the edge of the Merseytravel region. It is situated on the northern route of the Liverpool to Manchester Line, the former Liverpool and Manchester Railway which opened in 1830. It is a busy feeder station for nearby towns which no longer have railway stations, such as Golborne, Billinge and Haydock. There is also a complimentary bus shuttle service to Haydock Park Racecourse on certain racedays.[1]


The station was built in 1845[2][3][4]and opened by the London and North Western Railway, originally named Newton Bridge.[5] It was renamed Newton-le-Willows on 14 June 1888.[6]

When first opened, it was also on the main LNWR line from London to Preston and Scotland (what is now the West Coast Main Line) thanks to a number of company mergers & acquisitions - the former North Union Railway's branch from Parkside Junction (east of the new station) to Wigan North Western had opened back in 1832 and the completion of a north to west curve round to Lowton on 1 January 1847 by the Grand Junction Railway[7] had allowed through running to commence from London Euston and Birmingham New Street via the original Newton Junction (the modern day Earlestown), then over the L&M and onwards to Wigan and the north from that date. Within three years however, the heavily congested section of the L&M through the station was bypassed for north-south traffic with the opening of a cut-off line from Winwick Junction to Golborne, though local stopping trains between Warrington Bank Quay and Wigan continued to call thereafter. The station was also well served by trains between Manchester Exchange and Liverpool Lime Street (many of which were routed via Leigh) and also to Chester General via Warrington and the Birkenhead Joint Railway. The connections to the WCML also provided a useful diversionary route for trains to Preston & beyond from both Manchester & Liverpool - these were utilised by British Rail when they set up a Motorail terminal at the station in the 1960s, which offered through trains to Stirling[8] & Inverness and to St Austell.[9]

The station avoided the Beeching Axe in the 1960s, though the Warrington to Wigan local trains along the WCML ended in 1969 along with services via Leigh. The Motorail terminal closed in the early 1980s as British Rail cut back the number of routes on offer across the network, though the sidings into it weren't finally removed until August 2013.


Merseytravel put forward proposals in December 2015 for the station to be developed as an interchange station.[10] The proposals were later approved with the work scheduled to be completed by March 2018.[11][12]

Work on the new facilities started on 28 November 2016 and includes:

  • A new South side entrance & ticket office
  • A 400 space car park
  • Improved ticket office and passenger waiting rooms
  • A rail-bus interchange
  • Secure cycle storage
  • Dedicated drop off / pick up area
  • Step-free access to the platforms with a new subway and lifts.[13]


The line through the station was electrified by British Rail in 1973 as part of the WCML scheme and the station was served by electrically hauled mail trains, but no regularly scheduled electric passenger trains called here. This changed when the remaining sections of the L&M main line (from here to Castlefield Jcn & Manchester Victoria and Earlestown to Edge Hill) had their electrification work completed in 2015. Local trains over the route between the two cities and Manchester Airport are now electrically worked, with 4-car Class 319 Electrical Multiple Units. Longer distance services - most likely to Leeds, York, Scarborough and Newcastle will be possible once the main line via Huddersfield is electrified (though Liverpool to Scotland trains over the WCML could also potentially operate via this route as they did back in the 1970s and 80s) and the new TransPennine Express franchise starts (see below).


Like most Merseytravel stations, it is staffed from start of service until the last train has left (closing just before midnight each evening).[14] There are also self-service ticket machines provided. There are shelters on both platforms, along with digital information screens and timetable poster boards. The platforms and booking office are not currently accessible for disabled passengers, but work to provide this is in progress (as noted).


Northern operates an hourly fast train service between Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Airport via Manchester Piccadilly, and also an hourly all-stations service between Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Victoria, which both call at Newton-le-Willows.[15] The station is also served (hourly) by Arriva Trains Wales services from the North Wales Coast Line and Chester to Manchester Piccadilly (with some trains running through to Manchester Airport),[16] and a limited service from Wigan North Western to Liverpool Lime Street at peak times. Also if the southern Warrington line is closed due to engineering works, diverted TransPennine Express and East Midlands Trains services stop here (with an onward Rail Replacement bus to Warrington Central).

Following completion of electrification of the whole Liverpool to Manchester (Chat Moss) line in spring 2015, the Liverpool to Manchester Airport and Liverpool to Manchester Victoria services are now operated by 4-Car Class 319 Electric Units.

The new Northern & TransPennine Express franchises (both beginning in April 2016) will bring service & rolling stock improvements to the station - TPE services from Liverpool to Newcastle & Scarborough will begin calling here regularly,[17] whilst the new "Northern Connect" services from Liverpool and Chester to Leeds via Manchester Victoria and Bradford will also stop at Newton-le-Willows.[18]


See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ (p. 125, 126)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Donaghy, TJ (1972). Liverpool & Manchester Railway Operations 1831-1845. David & Charles, Newton Abbott
  5. ^ The Lancashire CI Six-Inch OS Map for 1849 - (bottom right-hand corner) - gives the N-le-W station name as "Newton Br. Station" - i.e. Newton Bridge
  6. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. pp. 87,171. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  7. ^ "Disused Stations - LowtonDisused Stations; Retrieved 30 March 2016
  8. ^ "D1842 on the 08.55 Newton-le Willows to Stirling Motorail service in 1967"Railscot; Retrieved 30 March 2016
  9. ^ "Devon Memories"Derby Sulzers; Retrieved 30 March 2016
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Newton-Le-Willows train station: what will the new station look like?" Belger, Tom; Liverpool Echo new article 8 December 2015
  12. ^ "Newton-Le-Willows train station to get new building, bus stop and car park" Belger, Tom, Liverpool Echo article 9 December 2015
  13. ^ "Work set to begin on new station building at Newton-le-Willows". Mersey Travel. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  14. ^ Newton-Le-Willows station facilities National Rail Enquiries
  15. ^ GB eNRT 2016-17 Edition, Table 90
  16. ^ Table 81 National Rail timetable, December 2016
  17. ^ TransPennine Express Franchise Improvements - DfT
  18. ^ Northern Franchise Improvements - DfT

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Earlestown   Arriva Trains Wales
Chester to Manchester Line
  Manchester Oxford Road
Earlestown   Northern
Liverpool to Manchester Line
(Northern Route)
Eccles on Sundays
St Helens Junction   Northern
Liverpool to Manchester Airport Line
  Manchester Oxford Road
Historical railways
Line and station open
  London and North Western Railway   Lowton
Line open, station closed
Line open, station closed