Heywood Railway Station

January 11, 2013
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The MancunianThe original Heywood Railway Station station opened on the national rail network in 1841 and closed in 1970.

It re-opened on 6 September 2003 as an extension of the East Lancashire Railway from Bury Bolton Street. The boundary between the ELR and the national rail network is located a short distance east of the station, at Hopwood.

£300 million has been pledged to link Heywood Railway Station back to the National Rail Network, which would see services direct to Manchester via Castleton.

The original station was situated immediately opposite the terminal wharf of the Heywood Branch Canal. The East Lancashire Railway station is situated slightly further to the east, nearer to the former Heywood railway wagon works.

About The East Lancashire Railway

After being closed by British Rail in 1982, the line was reopened on 25 July 1987. The initial service operated between Bury and Ramsbottom, via the village of Summerseat.

In 1991 the service was extended northwards from Ramsbottom to reach Rawtenstall, via Irwell Vale. However, two original stations on the line have not reopened. They are Ewood Bridge & Edenfield and Stubbins.

Rawtenstall is the northern limit of the line as the formation on towards Bacup has been lost immediately north of the station.

In September 2003 the eastbound extension from Bury to Heywood was opened. To reach Heywood the extension had to cross over theManchester Metrolink line to Bury, at the site of the former Knowsley Street station.

This necessitated the construction of a new intersection bridge, with steeply graded approaches of 1 in 36 and 1 in 41 nicknamed ‘The Ski Jump’. The remainder of the extension includes a long section at 1 in 85, rising towards Heywood, as the line climbs out of the Irwell valley.

The heritage line is now just over 12 miles (19 km) long, and has a mainline connection with the national railway network at Castleton, beyond Heywood.

A rail connection with the Metrolink line also exists, just south of Bury, at Buckley Wells.

There are plans to construct and open a station at Buckley Wells, between 2012 and 2015.

The railway is open every weekend of the year and holds a number of themed events and galas throughout the year which include steam and diesel events amongst others.

The Day out with Thomas events made a return to the railway after a two-year absence, but while Thomas was absent, the ELR operated “Family Engines Big Day Out” events featuring alternative engines with faces, such as “Jimmy the Jinty”.

The railway is run by volunteer members from the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society (ELRPS). The railway is well known for its collection of diesel locomotives which reside on the railway, along with over 140 carriages, wagons and utility vehicles.

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