Warrington and Newton Railway

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The Warrington and Newton Railway (W&NR) was an early railway company in England. It acted as a feeder to the original Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&MR), providing services from those two cities to and from Warrington. It was surveyed and engineered by George Stephenson, and received its Act of Parliament on 4 May 1829.[1]

Opening[edit]

The line opened on 25 July 1831 less than a year after the L&MR itself. The line ran for 4.5 miles (7.24 km) from a junction west of Newton-le-Willows with the L&MR at Newton Junction (now Earlestown) to the original Dallam Lane terminus in Warrington just north of the town centre, with a short south-western branch towards Bank Quay. A short south-eastern branch, provided for in its Act, was not opened until 1837.

Take-over by Grand Junction Railway[edit]

The company had putative plans to extend north and south; effectively these were taken over by the newly formed Grand Junction Railway (GJR), to form part of the route from Birmingham to Liverpool and Manchester (via the L&MR) and northwards through Wigan. After much manoeuvering on both sides the W&NR agreed on 4 February 1835 to be absorbed by the GJR on the basis of a one for one share exchange and a guarantee of 4% interest until the GJR declared dividends. This was confirmed by Act of Parliament of 12 June 1835. An end-on junction was built on the present route around the west side of Warrington, and a new station was built slightly to the north of today's Bank Quay station.

The line today[edit]

Central section[edit]

The central 2.5 mile (4 km) stretch of the original line between Bewsey and Winwick Junction (since expanded to four tracks wide) now forms part of today's West Coast Main Line, therefore representing the very first part of the London to Glasgow route to be constructed.

Southern stub[edit]

The southernmost stub of the former main line survived for over a century as sidings serving a brewery, cable factory and steel mill, and the original station was used as a coal depot. Although both are now gone, the station building still exists as the 'Three Pigeons' hotel on the corner of Tanners Lane and Dallam Lane at coordinates 53°23′36″N 2°35′46″W / 53.39333°N 2.59611°W / 53.39333; -2.59611 (Three Pigeons hotel).[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reed, Malcolm C (1996). The London & North Western Railway. Atlantic Transport Publishers. 
  2. ^ "Warrington Dallam Lane". Disused Stations. Subterranea Britannica. Retrieved 2015-01-23.