Station Name: RINGLEY ROAD

[Source: Paul Wright & Alan Young]

Date opened: 31.5.1847
Location: North side of the Ringley Road (A667)
Company on opening: East Lancashire Railway
Date closed to passengers: 5.1.1953
Date closed completely: 5.1.1953
Company on closing: British Rail (London Midland Region)
Present state: The northbound platform is extant.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD775057
Date of visit: 6.11.2010
Ringley Road station was on the East Lancashire Railway’s (ELR) Clifton Junction to Accrington line which had opened in stages between September 1846 and August 1848. At first the idea was for a line between Clifton Junction and Rawtenstall via Bury which was discussed at a meeting on 24th September 1843, the outcome being the creation of the
Manchester, Bury & Rossendale Railway (MB&RR). This company was formally incorporated on 4th July 1844. While construction was under way another company, the Blackburn, Bury, Accrington & Colne Extension Railway (BBACER), proposed to build a line between Stubbins, which lay to the north of Ramsbottom, and Accrington. The aims of the two companies were so aligned that on 21st July 1845 the companies merged as the East Lancashire Railway.

Ringley Road station opened on 31st May 1847. It was located in a deep cutting on the north side of Ringley Road, which connected Kearsley and Whitefield. The line here was double-track so the station was provided with two platforms. The main station building was west of the line on the northbound platform. It was a single-storey brick building, the roof

of which extended over the platform as a canopy. Access was via a sloping path down from Ringley Road, to the south end of the northbound platform. A barrow crossing at the south end of the station gave access to the southbound platform. Although there was little residential development nearby, Outwood Colliery was east of the line and had a rail connection, north of the station but there were no goods facilities at the station..

At the time of opening the station was served by trains going northwards to Colne or Bacup and southbound to Manchester Victoria. On 13th May 1859 the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR) absorbed the ELR. The LYR started to use the route through Ringley Road 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 the station.

From 1st September 1879 passenger services that had originated from, or were heading to, the Bacup line were transferred south of Bury from the route via Clifton Junction to a new line via Prestwich; this reduced the number of local services that called at Ringley Road. In 1879 a collier who was under the custody of a police officer for assaulting his wife jumped under a train at Ringley Road station, almost dragging the officer with him; the collier was crushed to death. A coroner’s inquest held at Salford recorded an open verdict. 

On 1st January 1922 Ringley Road became part of the London & North Western Railway (LNWR). One year later, on 1st January 1923, the LNWR became a constituent of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) by which time, of the twenty-five trains in each direction using the line, only eight in each direction called at Ringley Road.

In 1931 Outwood Colliery, which in its heyday had employed 2000 men, closed

following a fire which destroyed its winding gear. The LMS summer timetable for 1932 showed nine northbound trains called at the station. The first northbound service was at 05:34 am and went to Colne. The last service was also for Colne and departed at 8:19 pm. In the southbound direction there were nine trains, all of which went to Manchester Victoria. The first departed at 05:23 am and the last at 9:25 pm.

On 1st January 1948 Ringley Road became part of the nationalised British Railways (London Midland Region). It did not last very long as part of the nationalised network, closing completely on 5th January 1953.

Passenger and goods services continued to pass through the station site until 3rd December 1966. With effect from 5th December 1966 the line was closed, and it was lifted shortly afterwards. The northbound platform survived and was extant in 2010. The route of the line through the Ringley Road station site has been converted into a 4km footpath and cycleway known

as the Outwood Trail.

See also Radcliffe - The Railways (web site) and Bike Rides around the Greater Manchester area - the Radcliffe - Clifton Railway Line. Numerous photographs along the route.

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, Radcliffe Bridge, Withens Lane, Bury Bolton Street, Summerseat, Ramsbottom, Helmshore, Haslingden, Baxenden & 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

Looking south from the southbound (up) platform at Ringley Road station in the 1920s. The station building is on the down platform and to the left of it the footpath that provided access to the station. There were no buildings on the up platform.

1909 1:2500 OS Map.

Ringley Road station looking north in September 2007. The is an access point to the
popular Outwood Trail cycleway.
Photo by Parrot of Doom reproduced from Wikipedia under Creative Commons Licence

Looking north at Ringley Road station from the site of the barrow crossing in November 2010. The northbound platform was extant at this date. The barrow crossing provided access to the southbound platform which would have been to the left of the picture. By 2010 no trace of the
southbound platform remained.
Photo by Paul Wright

Looking south at Ringley Road station in November 2010. The northbound platform had survived nearly 60 years of closure.
Photo by Nick Catford

Last updated: Monday, 22-May-2017 13:02:12 CEST
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