Notes: Nateby station opened as Winmarleigh on 5 December 1870. It was situated on the Garstang & Knot (sic) End Railway (G&KER), a 7 mile single track line that connected Pilling to the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) company’s west coast trunk route at their Garstang (Junction) station. The original intention had been to have the western terminus of the line at Knott End but financial difficulties resulted in Pilling being the western extent of the line.
Winmarleigh station was 4 miles from Garstang (Junction) and it was located to the north of Nateby. The original intention had been to locate the station further to the west at Cogie Hill but representations were made to the G&KER by two local landowners and their tenant farmers who wanted the station at the site on which it was actually built. The name Winmarleigh was chosen in deference to Lord Winmarleigh of Winmarleigh Hall which was nearby.
The station was to the east of a level crossing which carried Station Road across the line. Before the line was built there was only a farm track at this location and a section of road had to be made up to form a connection with the station.
At the time of opening Winmarleigh station was a very basic facility. It had just a single platform located on the south side of the line. A simple wooden hut housed the booking facilities. To the west of the platform there was a two story crossing keeper’s cottage. Goods facilities consisted of a siding located to the rear of the passenger platform. It was connected to the main line at the eastern end of the station via a headshunt.
At the time of opening there were two arrivals and two departures which ran as mixed passenger and goods. The G&KER had 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 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 1876 a weighbridge, which was paid for by local farmers, was installed at the station.
In 1878 the line was put into the hands of a receiver.
In 1881 the LNWR renamed their Garstang station as Garstang & Catterall.
By 1902 the station had been renamed Nateby.
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. The KER also struggled financially and it took them 10 years to build the line. 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 Nateby was improved. A passing loop was installed and the original platform, which became the down (westbound), was lengthened. A new platform was installed to serve the up (eastbound) direction line. A new timber single story station building was added to the down platform which also housed a signal box. An additional siding and a cattle pen were added to the goods yard.
In 1920 the KER introduced a railmotor onto the line (Click here to see an OS quarter-inch scale map of the line as it was in 1920). However passenger traffic at Nateby was sparse and in 1921 the station became a request stop.
On 1 July 1923 the KER was absorbed into the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). Bus competition in the area had become well established by the 1920s and it had a big effect on passenger numbers. On 31 March 1930 the LMS withdrew the passenger service from the line. Nateby remained open for goods services.
On 1 January 1948 the line became part of British Railways London Midland Region (BR[LMR]). On 13 November 1950 BR[LMR] closed Nateby completely. The line between Pilling and Knott End was also closed at the same time. Goods facilities remained available at Pilling and at Garstang Town.
On 1 August 1963 goods services ceased running between Garstang Town and Pilling. The track was lifted sometime after 1965 and the station had been demolished by 1975.
CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED HISTORY OF NATEBY 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, Garstang Town, Cogie Hill, Cockerham Cross,
Garstang Road, Pilling, Carr Lane, Preesall and Knott End
Click here to see Register of Closed Railways 1901 - 1994