Earlestown railway station

Earlestown railway station

Infobox UK station
locale =Earlestown
borough=St Helens borough of Newton-le-Willows
manager=Northern Rail
usage0405 = 0.220
usage0506 = 0.219
usage0607 = 0.218
code = ERL
years = 1830
events = Opened


Earlestown railway station is a railway station at Earlestown near Newton-le-Willows in Merseyside, England.


The station lies on the former Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which was opened on 15 September 1830. On 25 July 1831 the Warrington and Newton Railway was opened for public use, making a junction at a point in the township of Newton, facing in the direction of Liverpool.

The surviving Earlestown station buildings were constructed around 1835 on the original site, at the point of intersection of these two early railways, incidentally forming the first steam railway junction, which was given the name Newton Junction. The locality was soon selected as the site of the company's carriage and wagon works, and thus developed into something of a 'company town', which was given the name "Earlestown" after James Hardman Earle, a director of the Liverpool and Manchester company. There was also a branch to a local colliery.

The junction had very tight curvature and this caused problems - instructions were issued on the maximum speed at which trains could go from one line to another. The original building now forms the (currently unused) waiting room of Earlestown Station.

The Grand Junction Railway (GJR) absorbed the Warrington and Newton company as of 31 December 1834 and from the GJR's completion of their trunk line from Birmingham on 4 July 1837 used it to access the Liverpool and Manchester line. A new "Curve" was built at Newton Junction so that trains could run towards Manchester; this gave the station a triangular formation with six platforms.

The method of operation involved the despatch of a Grand Junction train from both Liverpool and Manchester to meet at Earlestown. These were joined together and continued as one train to Birmingham. Both portions conveyed through carriages (after 1839) to London The Grand Junction trains arriving from Birmingham were usually split at Warrington (Bank Quay), and passed through Earlestown as separate Liverpool and Manchester trains.

The London and North Western Railway later operated their main line service to the Scottish border by way of Earlestown and Parkside, utilising a short section of the old Liverpool and Manchester line. This inconvenient routing was eliminated by the construction of the Golborne cut-off, a direct connection avoiding Earlestown. However, the original route was wired up as part of the West Coast Main Line electrification, since it was then used by a few trains stopping at Earlestown.

In contemporary times, there are frequent services to Liverpool (Lime Street), Manchester (Victoria and Piccadilly), Warrington (Bank Quay), Chester and then via the North Wales Coast Line to Llandudno. The line through the 'curve' is still electrified as part of the spur between Winwick Junction (on the West Coast Mainline north of Warrington) and Golborne Junction (south of Wigan, where the main line is rejoined). There are no regular electric passenger services through Earlestown or Newton le Willows, only diverted electric trains use this route when necessary.

Earlestown station is regarded as having the oldest railway station building in the world that has survived on an operational passenger station and also as having in "The Junction" the world's first stationary turntable (the familiar turning triangle or "Y") and it is also connected to one of the world's first railway viaducts.

ervice Summary

*Platform 1 for services to Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge, operated by Northern Rail

::Calling at: Newton-le-Willows, Patricroft, Eccles, Manchester Victoria (where crew change over), Ashton-under-Lyne and Stalybridge

*Platform 2 for services to Liverpool Lime Street (from Manchester Victoria), operated by Northern Rail

::Calling at: St Helens Junction, Lea Green, Rainhill, Whiston, Huyton, Roby, Broad Green, Wavertree Technology Park, Edge Hill and Liverpool Lime Street

*Platform 3 for services between Warrington and Liverpool (bidirectional platform), operated by Northern Rail

::Calling at: Warrington Bank Quay only


::Calling at: St Helens Junction, Lea Green, Rainhill, Whiston, Huyton, Roby, Broad Green, Wavertree Technology Park, Edge Hill and Liverpool Lime Street

*Platform 4 for services to Manchester Piccadilly operated by Arriva Trains Wales

::Calling at: Newton-le-Willows, Manchester Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly

*Platform 5 for services to Chester, Llandudno and Holyhead, operated by Arriva Trains Wales

::Calling at: Warrington BQ, Runcorn East, Frodsham, Helsby, Chester (some services terminate), Prestatyn, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction, Deganwy and Llandudno

**Services to Holyhead run as route to Llandudno Junction and then call at:

:::Bangor and Holyhead


* "The Directory of Railway Stations", R.V.J. Butt, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Somerset, 1995, ISBN 1-85260-508-1
* "Liverpool & Manchester Railway 1830-1980", Frank Ferneyhough, Book Club Associates, 1980, (no ISBN)
* "Encyclopedia of British Railway Companies", Christopher Awdry, Guild Publishing, England, 1990, CN 8983

External links


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