Notes: Baxenden station was located on the East Lancashire Railway’s (ELR) Clifton Junction to Accrington line which had opened in stages between September 1846 and August 1848. The section of line on which Baxenden stood was originally promoted by the Blackburn, Bury, Accrington & Colne Extension Railway (BBACER), which was incorporated on 30th June1845 to build a T shaped line between Stubbins and Colne/Burnley via Accrington. Three weeks later on 21st July 1845 BBACER was absorbed into the East Lancashire Railway (ELR).
By 1845 the ELR was in the final stages of building a line from Clifton Junction to Rawtenstall via Stubbins. The aims of the ELR and the BBACER were so much in alignment, to create a route from the east Lancashire area to Manchester, that a merger of the two companies was seen as the best way forward.
Rising Bridge in only 2½ miles. From Accrington there was a lengthy climb at 1 in 40, easing to 1 in 47, and then 1 in 100 through Baxenden to Rising Bridge. To the south the gradients were less dramatic, but there were long stretches at 1 in 76 for much of the distance to Stubbins Junction.
Baxenden station opened along with the entire 7.4 mile section of line between Stubbins Junction and Accrington on 17th August 1848, Stubbins to Clifton Junction having opened nearly two years previously on 25th September 1846. The line required heavy engineering works and had severe gradients as it ascended from about 450ft to the summit of 771ft at
Manchester from Colne.
Baxenden station was located some distance south of the village, closer to Rising Bridge. As the line was double track it was provided with two platforms. The main station buildings were located east of the line on the Manchester-bound platform. The main building was a smart single-storey stone structure. The platform elevation featured a recessed waiting area, flanked by wings which were pierced by paired round-headed windows. A slate hipped roof projected forward, supported by wooden brackets, to form a small awning. On the Accrington direction platform a small timber shelter with a slated hipped roof was provided. In later years a lattice-pattern footbridge was added to link the two platforms. There were extensive sidings on both sides of the running lines, south east of the station. The large stone goods shed with its adjacent 10-ton crane was immediately east of the passenger station, and, further to the east, sidings served a cotton mill, later to be taken over for the manufacture of Holland’s Pies. (This firm, now part of Northern Foods, operates from modern premises, the imposing former mill building having been demolished.) To the south west of the running lines sidings served two chemical factories. (Nichol's Chemicals) and other sidings served The Lancashire Brick and Terra Cotta Co, and Baxenden Colliery.
The 1849 timetable showed seven weekday trains from Baxenden to Colne, and six to Manchester which originated at Colne. Four services ran to Colne on Sundays and three to
On 13th May 1859 the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR) absorbed the ELR.The LYR started to use the route through Baxenden as an alternative to its congested main line between Manchester and Leeds which brought much extra traffic. The LYR also routed much of its holiday traffic through Baxenden. By 1882 Baxenden was being served by fourteen trains in each direction.
On 1st January 1922 Baxenden station became part of the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) but a year later that company was in turn absorbed into the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). By summer 1932 Baxenden had seventeen northbound services on weekdays; most went to Colne but three went only as far as Accrington. The first northbound service was for Colne, and it left Baxenden at 6:20 am. The last service which had originated from Manchester Victoria left Baxenden for Colne at 11:20 pm.
Eighteen trains travelled south from Baxenden to Manchester Victoria on weekdays. The first southbound departure was at 6:07 am and the last was at 10.03 pm.
On 1st January 1948 Baxenden became part of the nationalised British Railways (London Midland Region). The summer 1950 timetable showed fourteen northbound departures from Baxenden on Mondays-to-Fridays, with thirteen on Saturdays, whilst there were fourteen southbound trains on Monday-to-Saturday. Significantly the last weekday departure was as early as 9:04 pm, and no trains called on Sundays, whilst neighbouring Haslingden and Helmshore stations had later weekday trains and Sunday services. The village of Baxenden had frequent bus services which proved far more attractive than the trains calling at its inconveniently located station, which closed to passengers on 10th September 1951.Goods services were retained at the station until 6th February 1961. Passenger and goods trains continued to pass through the station site until December 1966, after which the line was closed. It is not known when the station buildings were demolished. Track remained in situ until October 1971. Sections of both of the station’s platforms were extant in 2010, and the closest bus stop on the A680 is still known as Baxenden station – sixty years after trains ceased to call!
See also the Ramsbottom Model Railway Club web site which features 106 old photographs of the East Lancashire Railway and photographs of the clubs excellent layout of Ramsbottom & Stubbins.
Tickets from Michael Stewart , route map drawn by Alan Young
To see other stations on the East Lancashire Railway Clifton Junction - Bacup line click on the station name on the station name:
Clifton Junction, Molyneux Brow, Ringley Road, Radcliffe Bridge, Withens Lane, Bury Bolton Street, Summerseat, Ramsbottom, Helmshore, Haslingden & Accrington
See also Stubbins Junction to Bacup: Stubbins, Irwell Vale (new station on the ELR), Ewood Bridge & Edenfield, Rawtenstall, Clough Fold, Waterfoot for Newchurch, Stacksteads & Bacup