John Speller's Web Pages Lancashire Union Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - L&NWR
Lancashire Union Railway
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The Lancashire Union Railway was authorized by an Act of 25 July 1864 to build a line from St. Helens Railway to White Head, near Adlington, on the Bolton to Preston line of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. A further Act of 13 July 1868 extended the line to Cherry Tree Lane near Blackburn on the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. By this second Act the sections between Boar's Head near Wigan on the West Coast Main Line and White Head, and between Chorley and Cherry Tree Lane became the property of the London & North Western and Lancashire & Yorkshire Railways, while the section between St. Helens and St. Helens Line Junction near Wigan remained the exclusive property of the London & North Western Railway. The Whelley Loop, a mainly goods line by-passing Wigan, opened in 1869. The London & North Western and Lancashire & Yorkshire Railways Joint Committee was wound up after the two railways merged on 1 January 1922 and the line became part of the LMS the following year. The joint line from Wigan to Blackburn was a total of 17 miles long, while the Wigan to St. Helens section was another 9 miles. The major engineering work on the Chorley to Cherry Hill line was the nine-arch Botany Bay Viaduct, over the Liverpool & Leeds Canal near Chorley, which was 50 ft. high 300 ft. long. It opened in 1869 and was demolished in 1968. The Chorley to Blackburn section of the line closed to passengers in 1960, as did the Wigan to Chorley section, though these lines remained open to goods traffic until 1966 and 1971 respectively. The Whelley loop closed in 1970. A video of Gresley "A-4" Pacific "Union of South Africa" at Cherry Tree station may be seen here.
Map of the Lancashire Union Railway excerpted from the London & North Western Railway system map
Heapey station in 1906
The Lancashire Union Railway under construction near Withnell in 1867
Chorley station in circa 1905
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