THE RAILWAYS  

 
  Rainford Village Station       Rainford Junction Station

From the 1st February 1858, when the first passenger train ran through the village, Rainford was well and truly on the railway map and linked into the vast network of lines throughout the country. The line from the new station at Shaw Street in St. Helens with stations at Gerard's Bridge, Moss Bank and Rainford was built by the St.Helens Railway Company to link up with the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway line from Liverpool to Wigan. This line, which passed through the north end of Rainford, was built by the former Liverpool & Bury Railway Company in 1848 and had a station by the bridge over Ormskirk Road. The line from St.Helens was to join it at the new station being built by the L.& Y.R. to replace the old L.& B.R. station. At about the same time the East Lancashire Railway extended its line from Skelmersdale to link the three companies together at what then became known as Rainford Junction. By the end of 1858 stations had been added at Rookery and Crank but it was not until October 1911 that a new halt was opened at Old Mill Lane by what had by then become the London & North West Railway.

The service started with four passenger trains in each direction but this was increased over the years and for the next ninety three years the little steam train was a familiar sight as it shuttled back & forth, pulling in one direction and pushing in the other. Throughout this time the service was well used and essential to all classes of society. A considerable goods traffic on the line was generated by branches into the Victoria Colliery (later the Tar Works), the Potteries and the Sandwash.  

 

  

Rainford Junction

Despite protests the last passenger train left Rainford Junction for St.Helens on the 16th June 1951 and heralded the begining of the end of railway traffic through Rainford. The line remained open for goods traffic, summer excursions and diversions until the 6th July 1964 when the section from Mill Lane to the Junction was closed and dismantled. Trains continued to carry sand from Pilkington Bros. sand washing plant near Mill Lane until this was transferred to road haulage and the line was finally closed on 30th January 1967.

All that remains now, as a legacy of the railway era, is the Linear Park from Rookery Lane to the Junction and the memories of those who travelled and worked on this oft' lamented line.

 

Rookery Station   

               Crank Station

                              

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