Notes: Garstang Town station opened as simply Garstang on 5 December 1870. The station was situated on the Garstang & Knot (sic) End Railway (G&KER) which at the time of opening ran between Garstang station on the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) and Pilling, a distance of 7 miles. The LNWR Garstang station was located on their west coast trunk route between London and Glasgow and it was 1¾ miles from the town.To avoid confusion the LNWR station was referred to as Garstang Junction from 1870 (although officially it was still Garstang). Originally the G&KER had been authorised on 30 June 1864 to build an 11 mile 29 chain line between Garstang & Catterall and Knott End but financial difficulties resulted in Pilling becoming the western terminus.
Garstang station was located on the northern side of the town after which it was named. It was much closer to the centre of the town than the LNWR station which had originally carried the same name.
The main point of access for vehicles was at the western end of the site, on the south side of the line, via a driveway that connected to Back Lane (modern day Croston Road). Passengers accessed the station via a footpath from High Street. The passenger facilities, a single platform and a simple brick built shelter, were positioned on the south side of the line. Behind them (to the south) were the goods facilities which included a goods shed and a small engine shed. There was a passing loop at the station and on the north side of the site there was a carriage shed.
There were nine trains in each direction but only two of these services (each way) ran west to Pilling (the down direction). The rest of the services ran only between Garstang and Garstang Junction (the up direction). The trains all ran as mixed passenger and goods. The G&KER only been able to afford one engine which they obtained through a hire purchase arrangement, The engine was an 0-4-2ST locomotive called Hebe.
The line struggled financially and by 1872 the G&KER was having mechanical problems with Hebe (due to inadequate maintenance). When the engine failed on passenger services ceased to run on 11 March 1872. Services started up again after repairs were made but further problems resulted in them ending again on 29 March 1872.
Arrangements were made to purchase an engine and on 17 May 1875 a full service was reintroduced.
In 1878 the line was put into the hands of a receiver and by 1894.
In 1881 the LNWR renamed their Garstang station as Garstang & Catterall.
After closure the station was demolished and the site was later developed with housing.
Aspirations of reaching Knott End had not gone away but the G&KER was not able to raise the capital. On 12 August 1898 the Knott End Railway (KER) was authorised to build a 4½ mile line between Pilling and Knott End. A number of improvements were also to be carried out to the existing line including a rebuild of Garstang station.
On 1 July 1908 the KER bought the G&KER and on 29 July 1908 the line to Knott End opened. In the early months of 1909 the Garstang station rebuild commenced. In its new form the station consisted of an island platform which was accessed by a footbridge at the eastern end. The main passenger facilities were located on this platform in a single storey building. A signal box was also located on the platform at the western end of the passenger facilities.
The goods facilities on the south side of the station site were largely unaltered.
At the western end of the station site on the north side of the line a two road engine shed was provided. New carriage sheds were also provided. These were also on the north side of the line but at the east end of the station site.
In 1920 a railmotor was hired from the LNWR and it was used to operate the passenger services. Click here to see a quarter-inch map from 1920 showing the branch as it was at that time.
On 1 July 1923 the KER was absorbed into the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). They added ‘Town’ to the station name on 2 June 1924. The former LNWR railmotor continued to operate the passenger services.
On 31 March 1930 the LMS withdrew the passenger service from the line and Garstang Town locomotive shed was closed.
Goods services continued to run on the line but from 13 November 1950, when the line was in British Railways ownership, the section of line between Knott End and Pilling was closed completely. On 1 August 1963 goods services ceased running between Garstang Town and Pilling and on 16 August 1965 they ceased completely.
CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED HISTORY OF GARSTANG TOWN STATION
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, Nateby, Cogie Hill, Cockerham Cross, Garstang Road, Pilling, Carr Lane, Preesall and Knott End
Click here to see Register of Closed Railways 1901 - 1994