Notes: Carr Lane Halt first appeared in the Bradshaw timetable in July 1921 but it had probably opened when the Knott End Railway (KER) Company introduced a railmotor service onto the 11½ mile Garstang &Catterall – Knott End railway in the summer of 1920 (Click here to see an OS quarter-inch scale map of the line as it was in 1920). The KER had been formed to extend the 7 mile Garstang& Knot (sic) End Railway (G&KER), which had opened on 5 December 1870, from Pilling to Knott End. Authorised on 12 August 1898, the 4½ mile KER line had opened on 30 July 1908 with one intermediate station at Preesall. The KER had purchased the G&KER on 1 July 1908.
The western terminus of the line at Knott End was located on the eastern bank of the River Fylde opposite the port of Fleetwood and a ferry provided a link between the two places. By 1908 Fleetwood had become a popular with tourists and one of the attractions was the ferry to Knott End. From the start the KER had recognised the potential for tourist traffic along its line during the summer months. The village of Pilling was a draw for tourists but the Pilling station (opened as the terminus of the G&KER in 1870) was a mile from the village at a settlement called Stakepool. A short distance to the south of Pilling the KER line passed over Carr Lane by means of a level crossing and this close proximity to the village was the reason why the KER decided to open a halt there.
The halt was located on the west side of Carr Lane on the north side of the single track line. A short platform and a simple waiting shelter were provided for passengers. In 1921 the KER decided to extend the platform and appointed a Mr Wilkinson to carry out the task at a cost of £54.
On the east side of the crossing, also on the north side of the line, there was a single storey crossing keeper’s cottage.
At the time of opening Carr Lane Halt, because of its proximity to the village, was served by all trains throughout the week. With the introduction of the 1920/21 winter timetable certain trains stopped by request on Thursdays and Saturdays only. By the Winter 1921-22 timetable all trains would call but only on request. As the halt was unmanned passengers had to flag the train down in order to board. Alighting could be accomplished by giving notice to the guard at the previous station.
The steam railmotor that was introduced in 1920 was loaned from the London & North Western Railway (LNWR). It could seat 48 passengers and it was used to supplement the ordinary service (During the winter it was used for all passenger services). The KER working timetable for the period 12 July to 30 September 1920 showed that Carr Lane Halt was served by an afternoon shuttle service, operated by the rail motor, which ran between Knott End and the halt or Pilling station. This shuttle service was clearly operated for the benefit of tourists coming across from Fleetwood on the ferry. It was also run as a means of competing with local buses which operated between Knott End and Pilling. In addition to this shuttle service, there were seven trains running between Knott End and either Garstang Town or Garstang &Catterall and five trains in the opposite direction. Of note is the provision of evening trains from Knott End to Garstang to serve passengers returning after a day out in Blackpool or Fleetwood.
The line was lifted through the site of Carr Lane Halt after 1953.
Although no Sunday services were advertised in the timetables they did operate during the summer months during busy holiday periods.
On 1 July 1923 the KER was absorbed into the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). The LMS ceased to operate the Knott End – Carr Lane/Pilling shuttle trains but all through services did serve Carr Lane Halt.
The LMS struggled to compete with local bus services and the operation of passenger services on the line between Garstang &Catterall and Knott End became uneconomic. The LMS decided to withdraw the service with effect from 31 March 1930. The last working timetable (which came into effect on 23 September 1929) showed Carr Lane Halt as having six up (Garstang direction) and five down (Knott End direction) passenger services.
After the withdrawal of the passenger services Carr Lane Halt was closed completely. The line continued to be used by goods trains until 13 November 1950 when the 1908 KER route (between Pilling and Knott End) was closed completely by British Railways (owners of the line from 1 January 1948).
Tickets from Michael Stewart and route map by Alan Young
- Awdry, C British railway companies (Guild Publishing,1990)
- Clinker, C R Clinker’s register of closed passenger stations and goods depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830-1977 (Avon-Anglia,1978)
- Cobb, M H The Railways of Great Britain – vol.1 (Third Edition) (Author, 2015)
- Holt, G O A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain – vol.10 (David & Charles, 1978)
- Quick, Michael Railway passenger stations in Great Britain - a chronology (RCHS, 2009 and on-line supplements)
- Richardson, D The Pilling Pig - A History of the Garstang and Knott End Railway (Cumbrian Railways Association, 2019)
To see the
other closed of the Knott End Branch
click on the station name: Garstang & Catterall, Garstang Town, Nateby, Cogie Hill, Cockerham Cross, Garstang Road, Pilling, Preesall and Knott End
Click here to see Register of Closed Railways 1901 - 1994