[Source:Tony Graham & Paul Wright]

Date opened: 18.5.1882
Location: West side of Station Road/Chapel Lane
Company on opening: West Lancashire Railway
Date closed to passengers: 7.9.1964
Date closed completely: 7.9.1964
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished, only the extended crossing keeper's cottage survives
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD508258
Date of visit: 30.7.2011
Notes: New Longton & Hutton station was on the West Lancashire Railway (WLR) Company’s Southport & Preston Railway which opened in stages between 19 February 1878 and 6 September 1882.

It appears that the the station opened as Howick on 1 June 1889. It was located a few miles east of Longton, on the west side of what became Station Road/Chapel Lane which crossed the line by means of a level crossing. The crossing had been present from the opening of the line; the crossing keeper ’s cottage stood on the down (Preston direction) side of the line,
east of the crossing. It appears that the station was fully signalled from its opening, possibly using a crossing keeper’s hut in the absence of a signal box structure.

As the line was double-track Howick station was provided with two platforms, built on a curve. The main facilities were in a single-storey wooden building on the down platform at its eastern end. A number of timber-built sheds were on both platforms which provided waiting facilities and storage. At the western end of the down platform was a brick-built gentlemen’s
toilet. Access to the platforms was via paths to the road on each side of the level crossing.

At its opening Howick was served by trains between Southport Central and Preston (West Lancashire station). Some services continued onwards to Blackburn. By December 1895 Howick had 13 services to Preston and four to Blackburn (via Preston) on weekdays. Some of the Blackburn services did not run onwards from Preston on Thursdays. The first service for Preston was at 7:15 am with the last at 10:41 pm. There were 11 services to Southport Central, the first leaving Howick at 8:00 am and the last at 10:29 pm. There was also a train at 8:15 pm that ran only to Longton. Howick had a Sunday service, there being six trains to Preston and five to Southport.

On 1 July 1897 the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR) took over the WLR. Howick was renamed Hutton & Howick on 1 December 1897. From 16 July 1900 the LYR closed the WLR Preston station and diverted trains into Preston’s main line station. From 1 May 1901 they closed Southport Central and transferred all WLR line services to Southport Chapel
Street.   A new LYR signal box was constructed in 1901 east of the crossing, on the up side of the line and opposite the crossing keeper’s cottage. The box had a brick base and timber-built top and was provided with a 16-lever LYR frame.

In late 1904 a goods yard was constructed on the down side of the line. It consisted of a single siding with buffer stops east of the crossing keeper’s cottage and could accommodate 18 wagons. The junction between the goods yard and the main line, and the signal box, were not given Board of Trade inspector’s approval until March 1905.

On 1 January 1922 the LYR was absorbed by the London & North Western Railway but a year later that company became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). By the summer of 1932 Hutton & Howick had 16 weekday trains to Preston, the first departing at 6:24 am and the last at 10:50 pm. There were 18 weekday Southport trains, the first
being at 5:57 am and the last at 10:50 pm. On Sundays there were six trains to Preston and five to Southport. On 5 November 1934 the LMS renamed the station New Longton & Hutton, as the adjacent village of New Longton to the south had grown considerably whilst Howick, over a mile to the north, remained little more than a hamlet.

On 1 January 1948 New Longton & Hutton became part of the nationalised British Railways (London Midland Region).  By winter 1956 the station was served on weekdays by 16 Preston and 18 Southport trains. The first departure for Preston was at 6:16 am and the last was at 9:48 pm. The first Southport service departed at 5:56 am and the last at 10:41 pm.
Some extra services operated on Saturdays, but there were no trains on Sundays.  BR appears to have made little investment in the station which retained gas lighting to the end, and totem name signs were not installed.

Railway Magazine (July 1959) reported that the LMR was considering closure to all traffic of the route between Crossens – the terminus of the electric service – and Preston before the end of the year. Whilst the line survived this threat, The Reshaping of British Railways (‘Beeching’) report of 1963 recommended the complete closure of the railway from Meols Cop to Preston. The goods yard was officially closed on 6 April 1964 and had been lifted by 22 August 1964. Despite local protests all passenger services were withdrawn with effect from 7 September 1964, and the station closed completely, as did the line from Hesketh Park to Preston.

Although the line south from Hesketh Bank towards Southport was lifted during the early months of 1965 the section between Preston and the River Douglas bridge,  through New Longton & Hutton, remained in situ for another year because it was thought that it might be required to serve a proposed nuclear power station. However Heysham was chosen instead, and
from River Douglas bridge back to the Whitehouse South Junction (Preston) was lifted c. 1966. The station buildings and platforms at New Longton & Hutton were demolished shortly after closure as was the signal box.  Bungalows were later built on part of the station site, and nothing survived of the station in July 2011. However the original crossing keeper’s cottage was still in use as a residential property.

Tickets from Michael Stewart, except 165 & 2267 (plus tickets in gallery) from Alan Castle, route map drawn by Alan Young, Bradshaw from Chris Hind


To See other stations on the Southport - Preston (West Lancashire) line click on the station name: Southport Central, Southport Windsor Road, Southport Ash Street, St. Lukes, Hesketh Park, Churchtown, Crossens, Banks, Hundred End, Hesketh Bank & Tarleton, River Douglas, Hoole, Longton Bridge, Penwortham (Cop Lane) & Preston West Lancashire

Looking west at New Longton & Hutton station in June 1963. The station staff took much pride in keeping the station in good order; one of them is seen sweeping the barrow crossing.
Photo from John Mann collection

1892 1:2,500 OS map shows the station as Howick; it served a sparsely populated area at that time.

1931 1:2,500 OS map. By 1931 the station had become much busier as the population of the surrounding area had increased. It had been named Hutton & Howick since 1 December 1897. The station had also gained a goods siding which can be seen east of the level crossing on the
north side of the line.

1961 1:2,500 OS map.On 5 November 1934 the LMS renamed the station New Longton & Hutton. The area had become even more developed by this time.

The east end of New Longton & Hutton station looking east in 1960. To the left the station's booking office can be glimpsed. Access to the station was via the booking office for the down (Preston-bound) platform and via a path, seen to the right, to the up platform.
Photo by D. Lawrence

Looking east at New Longton & Hutton station in August 1964. The station's basic facilities are clearly shown. The toilets, to the left, are the only brick structure on the platforms. The train arriving at the up (Southport-bound) platform is the 4:50pm Preston to Southport Chapel Street, hauled by ex-LMS Stanier 4MT passenger tank locomotive No. 42465. This loco was built at Derby Works, entering service with the LMS on 21.10.1936 as 2465. It had a service life of over 28 years when it was withdrawn from 10A, Springs Branch shed on 13.2.1965, and it was scrapped by Wards by the end of June.

Looking east from the up platform at New Longton & Hutton station in August 1964 as BR Standard Locomotive No. 76080 passes over the level crossing 'running light' to Preston. The timber facilities of the station are clearly shown. To the left is the booking office and, to the right, a timber waiting shelter. Also seen in the middle distance are the signal box and, to the left of the signal, the crossing keeper’s cottage which survived the line’s closure and was still standing in July 2011. 76080 was built in 1957 at Horwich works to R.A.Riddles' Standard 4, 2-6-0 design. It was delivered new to 24D, Lower Darwen, where it stayed until March 1965, when it moved to 8G, Sutton Oak. It was later moved to 8F, Springs Branch in June 1967 from where it was withdrawn in December 1967. Sent to Woodham Brothers, Barry Island, it was one of the few locos actually broken up there when, owing to a shortage of wagons to scrap, this class 4 was cut up as late as April 1972.
Photo by D. Hampson

Looking west towards Southport from New Longton & Hutton station's up platform in August 1964. The 3:30pm Southport Chapel Street to Preston service is arriving at the station. Although the buildings at New Longton & Hutton were timber there was a brick-built gentlemen's toilet, seen to the right with a large station running-in board attached to it. The train is hauled by ex-LMS Stanier 4MT Locomotive No. 42158. With just eight months service left, it is working a short stopping train. Built at Derby works in July 1948, this loco was withdrawn on 24.4.1965 from 24C, Lostock Hall shed, and cut up by the end of August of that year by Cashmores at Great Bridge.

The evening shadows lengthen at the end of yet another balmy summer's day in September 1964 as Bolton shed's Stanier 2-6-4T No. 42626 rolls over the level crossing into New Longton & Hutton with a 3-coach short stopping train forming the 7:07 pm Preston - Southport service. The ex-LMS corridor leading coach is slightly unusual. Entering service on 5.8.1938, it had a working life of just over 27 years when it was withdrawn from 26C, Bolton shed on 23.10.1965 and taken for scrapping at Cashmores by the end of July 1966. 42626 is to enter the history books in 1965 being the much-polished and decorated loco selected to haul the final passenger train out of Horwich, just a few miles from here.
Photo by Alan Castle

On 5 September 1964 (the penultimate day of services) the porter at New Longton & Hutton hopefully eyes the 3 coaches of the 7:05 pm Preston - Southport as they draws to a halt, on the lookout for opening droplights and emerging arms that might indicate potential custom.
Photo by Alan Castle

A fine view from the fireman's side of the footplate of Lostock Hall's BR Standard 2MT 2-6-0 No. 78040 taken on 6 September 1964, the last day of services. The picture reveals most of New Longton & Hutton's spartan platform facilities, as the 1.17 pm from Southport enters the platform end. The housing development evident at this, one of the line's busier stations, has sadly come too late in the day to save the line. Over many years the competing Ribble bus services have exerted an ever-increasing stranglehold on the potential passenger traffic and, upon closure of the railway, are poised to grasp what little remains. The 'replacement rail service', i.e. the odd additional bus that is to be laid on at busier periods, will provide nowhere near as rapid (or as cheap) travel to Preston town centre. Built at Darlington, 78040 entered service on 11.12.1954 at 27A, Bank Hall shed where it stayed until February 1957 when it moved to 27D, Wigan Central then to 27B Aintreee in January 1961. Its final allocation was 10D, Lostock Hall, in April 1964, before it was withdrawn in January 1966 and cut up four
months later by Wards.
Photo by Alan Castle

Looking west at the site of New Longton & Hutton station in August 1984 before the site had been built upon. However work had begun as indicated by the foundations for a bungalow. The tree in the distance, at the centre of the picture, is also visible in the June 1963 picture (above).
Photo by John Mann

The site of New Longton level crossing in October 1989.The crossing keeper's cottage, the only surviving railway building, is on the opposite side of the crossing from the station.
Photo by Nick Catford

Looking west at the site of New Longton & Hutton station from approximately the eastern end of the down (Preston-bound) platform in July 2011.
Photo by Paul Wright

Click here for more pictures of New Longton station

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