|Liverpool and Bury Railway|
LOPR and LBR diverge.
North West England
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in|
Liverpool and Bury Railway
The Liverpool and Bury Railway was formed in 1845 and opened on 28 November 1848. The line ran from Liverpool Exchange first using a joint line with Liverpool, Ormskirk and Preston Railway before branching off to proceed via Kirkby then Wigan and Bolton to Bury.
In 1846 the line merged with the Manchester & Leeds Railway being eventually finished after the merger to form the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR). The portion of the line west of Crow Nest Junction eventually formed part of the LYR's 37-mile (59.5 km) Liverpool to Manchester route via a junction with the Manchester and Southport Railway at Wigan. From 1858 the line was connected to the Skelmersdale Branch and the St. Helens Railway at Rainford Junction. A short tunnel was bored through a hill between Upholland station and Orrell station.
The line today
With the exception of the section from Bolton to Bury (closed on 5 October 1970, along with the continuation through to Castleton) the line is still in use, though Liverpool Exchange station closed in 1977 being replaced by Liverpool Moorfields in Merseyrail's Link Tunnel. In 1946 one of the Victorian timber bridges on the line was replaced with the Adam Viaduct, the first prestressed concrete railway bridge in the United Kingdom.
The line from Liverpool city centre to Kirkby is electrified with a DC third rail forming a part of Merseyrail's Northern Line. At present, services from Kirkby onwards are operated by diesel trains though there are plans for the Merseyrail electrified line to be extended towards Wigan with a new terminus at Headbolt Lane. Long-term aspirations are to extend Merseyrail to Wigan on this line. The Wigan to Bolton section meanwhile is used by Manchester Airport to Southport and Wigan Wallgate to Manchester Victoria local services.
In January 2019, Campaign for Better Transport released a report identifying the line between Bolton and Bury which was listed as Priority 2 for reopening. Priority 2 is for those lines which require further development or a change in circumstances (such as housing developments).
- "Liverpool and Bury Railway". Grace's Guides to British Industrial History. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- "Liverpool Exchange Station: We look back on this famous terminus 165 years after it opened". Liverpool Echo.
- Historic England. "Adam Viaduct (1061327)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
- "Working Timetable Section CL" (PDF). Network Rail. 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
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