Skelmersdale branch

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Skelmersdale Branch
Liverpool, Ormskirk
and Preston Railway
Ormskirk
Burscough Junction
Liverpool, Ormskirk
and Preston Railway
Westhead Halt
Skelmersdale
White Moss
Level Crossing Halt
Hey's Crossing Halt
Liverpool and Bury Rly
Kirkby
Bushey Lane Junction
Randle Junction
Rainford Junction
Liverpool and Bury Rly
St Helens and
Runcorn Gap Railway

The Skelmersdale branch was a standard gauge railway (SKE[1]) which connected the Liverpool, Ormskirk and Preston Railway at Ormskirk with Rainford Junction via Skelmersdale. At Rainford it connected with the Liverpool and Bury Railway and the St. Helens Railway. It was built by the East Lancashire Railway, which was taken over by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway shortly afterward.[2] The steam railmotor which served the line was sometimes known locally as the "Skem Dodger" and other times as the "Skem Jazzer".[3]

History[edit]

Opened on 1 March 1858, passenger services ended 5 November 1956, with goods trains to Rainford ceasing on 16 November 1961 and to Skelmersdale on 4 November 1963. Since then Skelmersdale has had no rail connection but has grown considerably.

Re-opening proposals[edit]

Proposals have been put forward for the reopening of a section of line, reconnecting trains for Skelmersdale into Merseyrail's Northern Line Ormskirk branch.[4][5] In June 2009, the Association of Train Operating Companies, in its Expanding Access to the Rail Network report, called for funding for the reopening of this station as part of a £500m scheme to open 33 stations on 14 lines closed in the Beeching Axe, including seven new parkway stations.[6] The report proposes extending the line from Ormskirk railway station by laying 3 miles of new single track along the previous route towards Rainford Junction, at a cost estimated to be in the region of £31m. The route is largely intact, however deviation north of Westhead would be required. The proposed Skelmersdale station would be on the north west corner of the town near the Skelmersdale Ring Road, right next to where the old station once was.[7]

Route[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Pixton, Bob (1996), The Archive Photographs Series Widnes and St Helens Railways, The Chalford Publishing Company, ISBN 0 7524 0751 1