Gif of LNWR Emblem
London & North Western Railway Society
Bygone Lines of the LNWR

LNWR TYLDESLEY No 2 - PENNINGTON SOUTH JN (3½ miles)

Opened
1.9.1864.
Closed
5.5.1969.
Stations
Leigh, Pennington
Signal boxes
Tyldesley No 2, Jackson’s Siding, Speakman’s Siding, Leigh Station, Pennington East Junction, Pennington South Junction.

History
This line was opened at the same time as the Eccles to Wigan line. It is claimed that since the line to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire has been reopened Leigh is now the largest town in England without rail services.

Route when open
West of Tyldesley the line to Leigh diverged from the Eccles to Wigan line at Tyldesley No 2 (SD687019) and turned south-west. On this section of line, in the years before it closed , it was routine to see 8Fs at the head of heavy coal trains from Speakman's Sidings pounding up the 1 in 100 to Tyldesley being banked by another 8F. In Leigh a viaduct carried the line over town centre roads and the Bridgewater canal and at Pennington there was a complex series of junctions with this line entering from the north-east, the Bolton to Kenyon Jn line from the north and lines from Bickershaw and Westleigh collieries from the west. Pennington station (SJ645985) was located on the south side of the A57 which (between 1902 and 1933) carried electric trams of the South Lancashire Tramways from Lowton to Hulton (Four Lane Ends) via Leigh and Atherton.

Route today
This line can be accessed from Astley Street at the site of Tyldesley station and after 600yds turn off to the left where a sign indicates a public footpath to Leigh, just beyond the site of Tyldesley No 2 signal box. After a few yards, this path joins the track bed of the Tyldesley to Leigh line opposite the area once occupied by Jackson’s Sidings. Many areas of the Wigan coalfield have undergone a dramatic change over the last 30 to 40 years and none more so than the stretch between Tyldesley and Leigh. Today it is a pleasant local cyclepath through fields and woods along a wide track for most of the way. Approaching Leigh the trail ends at Holden Road but on the opposite side there is public footpath path for 300yds to the site of Leigh station which is now a lorry park. The Bridgewater canal runs through the centre of the town and just south of this industrial development housing has taken over and nothing remains of the formation between the station and St Helens Road (A572). A cycleway once ran from Leigh to Kenyon Junction but because of this development and road building only a short section between the A572 and A579 (the site of Pennington East signal box) remains although it is possible to pass under the A579 and cycle into Pennington Country Park.

Stations
Leigh demolished - site now a lorry park; Pennington demolished - site built over by A579.

Bridges
in Leigh the bridge over Holden Road was removed in 1969; a short isolated section of viaduct in Leigh town centre survived for many years but has now been removed; bridge over A572 in Leigh missing.

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