All Aboard! – Railways in Lancashire

Red Rose Collections Image Archive contains digitised photographs from libraries all over Lancashire and quite a number document the railways in that part of the County.

We have now, finally, been able to collate these images in to one collection of nearly nine hundred photographs – Railways in Lancashire.

These include dramatic eyewitness shots of several railway accidents, some of which had tragic consequences, others featuring miraculous escapes.

Photo of the Scotch Express Preston Accident in 1896
Scotch Express Accident, Preston 1899
Photo of Railway Accident at Holme 1907
Railway Accident at Holme 1907
Photo of Railway accident, Accrington in 1899
Railway accident, Accrington 1899

One spectacular photograph captures the instant of the demolition of a Chorley viaduct in 1968, snapped by George Birtill.

Photo of Chorley Viaduct Demolition in 1968
Chorley Viaduct Demolition 1968

Some pictures show the importance of Lancashire’s railways, not only for passengers, but also for the commerce of the County.

Photo of Hundred End Railway Sidings, Hesketh Bank in the early nineteen hundreds
Hundred End Railway Sidings, Hesketh Bank 1900
Photo of Hesketh Bank railway station in 1938
Hesketh Bank Railway Station 1938

Also included are portraits of some of the characters associated with the railways.

Photo of Mr Dunn, Station Master at Hesketh Bank Station 1910
Station Master at Hesketh Bank 1910
Photo of the Restroom, St Annes Railway Station in 1925
Station Restroom, St Annes 1925
Photo of Station Master and dog, St Annes Railway Station in 1925
Station Master and dog, St Annes 1925

In this collection, you’ll also catch glimpses of Lancashire railways long gone…

Photo of Derelict railway station, Helmshore in the nineteen eighties
Derelict Railway Station, Helmshore 1990

The first station in Lancashire was built in 1838 and the network grew until a decline began in the mid twentieth century. Since then there have been many changes and closures, particularly in the 1960s.

But perhaps more change is to come with a recent announcement of a study into the potential reopening of the Fleetwood to Poulton-le-Fylde line.

Photo of Fleetwood Railway Station demolition in 1969
Demolition of Fleetwood Railway Station 1969

For anyone interested in reading more about these lines, copies of David James’ ‘Lancashire’s lost railways‘ are available to borrow from Lancashire libraries.

Book cover of Lancashire's Lost Railways
Lancashire’s Lost Railways

When we are researching information to accompany the images on Red Rose Collections, we often head for reliable and informative websites. For anyone looking into railway history, Disused Stations is a mine of useful information.

Our featured collection photo is another from George Birtill, taken in 1960. Alas, we don’t know the story behind this charming and intriguing image, and perhaps never will…

Photo of Adlington Railway Station in the nineteen sixties
Adlington Railway Station 1960

See the whole collection – Railways in Lancashire

Follow us on Twitter: Libraries @LancsLibraries also check out Lancashire Archives @LancsArchives and Museums @LancsMuseums

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