Manchester to Wigan Line


Manchester to Wigan Line

The Manchester to Wigan Line refers to a railway closed to passengers on 3 May 1969, which was part of the London and North Western Railway before the Grouping of 1923 (see Railways Act 1921).

This route was an alternative to the surviving route through Swinton, Walkden and Atherton (which was part of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway before 1923). It also served the town of Leigh, which currently has no station.

The first part of the route still exists between Manchester Victoria station and Eccles (part of the original Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened in 1831).After Eccles, the line branched off in a north westerly direction crossing what is now the M602 motorway, calling at stations at Monton Green and Worsley.

Thereafter the line split in two, with one branch continuing to Bolton; and the Manchester to Wigan line itself continuing westward to stations at Ellenbrook and Tyldesley.After Tyldesley the line split again, crossing the (also closed) line between Bolton Great Moor Street and Kenyon Junction on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. This split had stations called Howe Bridge and Hindley Green in the northerly (straight) section and Leigh and Plank Lane stations in the southerly (U-shaped) section. Plank Lane station opened in 1903 and closed in 1915.

To the west of Leigh the two lines rejoined, passed through a station called Platt Bridge and approached a complex junction south of Wigan on what is now the West Coast Main Line.

The route also served some of the collieries in the area. Sidings known as Jackson's and Speakman's were found between Tyldesley and Leigh, and Abram sidings which served Abram and Bickershaw collieries was west of Leigh between Bickershaw Lane and Crankwood Road.

ources

*Railway Clearing House Atlas of England & Wales 1904 (Ian Allan pubs. ISBN 978-0-7110-2778-7)
*A Lancashire Triangle by D. J. Sweeney (Triangle pubs. ISBN 978-0-9529333-2-8)


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