How old is this bridge in Wigan?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Gathursty

Established Member
Joined
31 May 2011
Messages
2,247
Location
Wigan
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place...4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d53.530013!4d-2.661215

This bridge is all that remains of a line departing east of Pemberton station and heading south and joining up near Bryn. According to Rail Map Online, this was an LNWR line.

I can get to it fairly easily but it is somewhat overgrown. The bridge has some metal panels on the top left over and you could walk over it if you can work your way through the thick wooded ramparts and nettles etc...
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

E_Reeves

Established Member
Joined
25 Oct 2015
Messages
1,412
Location
West Midlands
I love things like this, knowing there is a part of old England that hasn't been destroyed (yet).
 

Gathursty

Established Member
Joined
31 May 2011
Messages
2,247
Location
Wigan
I love things like this, knowing there is a part of old England that hasn't been destroyed (yet).

Most of Wigan's lines, including this one, disappeared with the demise of the coal mines and the freight trains that took their wares. It is incredible that this bridge still is here. I wonder why no-one just knocked it down when they were house building. For the record, I'd like to see it retained with a plaque nearby explaining what the area nearby looked like when the coal industry was at its peak.
 

Shaw S Hunter

Established Member
Joined
21 Apr 2016
Messages
2,347
Location
Sunny South Lancs
A bit of googling eventually led me to a discussion on the wiganworld website which includes the following:

Here is what the book 'The Industrial Railways of The Wigan Coalfield Part One - West and South of Wigan' by C.H.A. Townley, F.D. Smith and J.A. Peden say about the line.

This concerns the building of the Lancashire Union Railway south of Wigan to St Helens:
"The new Lancashire Union line was authorised by Parliament in 1865. The Act also authorised a branch from Bryn to the Norley Hall Colliery Company's railway together with a spur to the Lancashire and Yorkshire at Pemberton.
The 1865 Act confirmed the arrangements whereby the London and North Western was to work the line. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway was given access to St Helens."
"The Lancashire Union line from Ince Moss to the St Helens Railway at Gerards Bridge was opened for goods traffic on 1st November 1869 and for passengers on 1st December. The Pemberton Branch and it's spur to the L & Y, neither of which carried regular passenger trains, are believed to have opened at the same time as the St Helens line, although no official record appears to have survived."
"The independent existence of the Lancashire Union Railways Company came to an end on 1st July 1883, when it was absorbed by the London and North Western."

The line north of Pemberton had been closed and removed by 1932 due to traffic from Norley Hall Colliery having ceased though the southern section would have lasted much longer; the local Pemberton Colliery complex, oft quoted as having had the largest above ground footprint of any in the country, stopped winding coal in 1946 but lasted until approx 1960 as a blending site for local opencast workings.

I have visited various acquaintances in that area many times but have never been aware of this bridge so thanks for the tip!
 

WatcherZero

Established Member
Joined
25 Feb 2010
Messages
9,670
Theres another random old bridge carrying the drive over the lifted Whelley Loop on the grounds of Haigh Hall. Whats unusual is the alignment is totally vacant not even a footpath last I used it whereas the bridge over it is still in use. You would have thought at some point someone would have thought they would save on the bridge upkeep if they just filled in the cutting.
 
Last edited:

duffield

Member
Joined
31 Jul 2013
Messages
1,073
Location
East Midlands
You would have thought at some point someone would have thought they would save on the bridge upkeep if they just filled in the cutting.

No-one's going to want that item coming out of their budget until the bridge gets to the state where removal and filling in the cutting is cheaper than repairs (probably that point where the bridge is considered life-expired).
 

jp4712

Member
Joined
1 May 2009
Messages
347
It is, I believe, the overbridge carrying the lane from Little Lane to Queen Pit cottages. I agree completely with Shaw S Hunter that the bridge was over the spur from the LNWR's Pemberton branch. The attached map shows the layout of the area with the LYR Wigan Avoiding Line (NOT to be confused with the LNWR Whelley Line) running left-to right through the centre; and the line from the LYR Pemberton station to Wigan Wallgate running centre-left to the top.

On this 1950 map, the northward extension towards Norley Hall has already been lifted, but the spur and Pemberton colliery are clearly seen.
 

Attachments

  • Little Lane.jpg
    Little Lane.jpg
    183.9 KB · Views: 45
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top