Bacup to Rawtenstall.

February 2006 - updated March 2007.

Starting the picture trail from Bacup, by chance we got a picture of the old railway station at Bacup, which has now been built over. The big blue building (in the middle of the picture) is built on the site of the old railway, the stone wall surrounding it, is all that is left of the original building.

Pictures below taken March 2007 of the station.

Again pictures taken from March 2007 bikeride of the station side on the tunnel under Newline Road. You can just make out the Stone work as this is as close as we could get with everything being locked up.

Left - We then picked up the line on the other side of the tunnel going under Newline Road now used as a storage by the local council. The steel girders you can see in the picture is where the railway crossed the river Irwell for about 13th time between Rawtenstall and Bacup

Below Left - Is a better view of the bridge.

Below -Looking down the line to Rawtenstall.

The next 3 pictures show where the line crossed the river twice in quick succession and Lea road. We have researched the line, and here there used to be a double span bridge. Only recently has this been removed to leave the scene we have in the 3 pictures.

Left - the first span over the river.

Bottom Left - In the middle looking back to the tunnel to Bacup.

Bottom - In the middle looking over the 2nd span, across Lea road and the river (again). You can see the line has been built over with a large factory.

 

We made a de-tour around the factory and came across the old bridge abutments on the other side.

More bridge abutments around Holme street. You can see how much engineering must have gone in to the line. As stated above the railway crossed the river 13 times. As we found out, it also crossed numerous streets too.

Again the railway crossed a small farm access road. Just after it crossed the river.

Here we are on Farholme Lane, just off Newchurch road. We thought we would try and follow the line back down to Rawtenstall as close as we could. We were riding blind, as we didnt really know what to expect. Here we found the line started to clear. This is what is left of the bridge over the road.
We managed to get back on the actual alignment on the playing fields at the back of Miles crescent.

We were not 100% what this was, but it looks like an access point to the railway. You can clearly see the ordinal railway brick work and edging stones. Possibly a loading area?

Just round the corner from the other picture, again you can see the original railway brickwork.

We lost the route slightly here, the pathway we took went to the left, however the line curved round to the right of this picture.

This was a find! Here the line crossed the Irwell (again), but only after we researched the line, we found this was the location of the station at Stacksteads The station building was positioned on the bridge pictured.

Luckily we explored this site further and took a few pictures. Here we are actually on the old station site. You can see that mother nature has taken over the site. You can also see the other side of the bridge on the right hand side. The book "Railways in and around Bury" shows some great pictures of the station in its full glory. Hopefully when we ride this route again we will get some more pictures of the station as it is today.

Bottom left: Taken from on the bridge.

Bottom: Through the rubbish the other side.

This is looking back to Stacksteads station. Sadly the line has been completely built over with this modern wear house.
Past the wear house we an make out the alignment (to the left hand side). To the right runs Railway street, a massive clue of the railways presence in this area.
This is the large mill at the end of Railway street - this may have had links with the railway?
Here we pick up the old line, it has been converted in to a pathway, but be warned it was very muddy in places. This takes you round the cricket club, just off Brandwood lane.
Rakehead lane. Here the line went under the lane. This has all been filled in now. However the path can still be followed up and over at this point.
A closer shot of the bridge that has been left at this site.
This is the view back towards Rakehead lane. Again the path is very muddy in places.

Our favorite part of the route! here we are the site of Newchurch no2 tunnel (on the right) and Thrutch (the later built) tunnel (an now sealed) on the left. Originally the line was only single through the Glen, there wasn't enough room for a 2nd parallel tunnel, so Thrutch was built, completely by-passing The Glen and both Newchurch tunnels. Sadly this tunnel has been sealed, but we can imagine why. It would certainly be a very eerie experience following Thrutch due to its curved nature and length.

However Newchurch No2 is still open and we passed through it with care.

The other end of Newchurch No2. As you can see the tunnel is straight and you can see right through. Riding through was still an eerie experience, especially right in the middle. Our favorite part of the route!
The Glen. A tight spot where both the railway and the road passed through. The single railway ran tight to the left of the Glen, then a little later on it passed through Newchurch No1 tunnel, before emerging near Waterfoot.
Part of an original retaining wall where the railway ran through the Glen.
Not the clearest of pictures, but this is Newchurch No1 tunnel, in the Glen. As you can see it has been sealed up.
Here we took the road round to Waterfoot. you can see he narrow profile of the Glen.
Both the tunnels meet again just outside Waterfoot. Thrutch on the right, Newchurch No1 on the left. Both are sealed. The line then crossed the Irwell on a small bridge, heading towards Waterfoot station.
Waterfoot - we are roughly on the site of the station. The line went right through the middle of the picture on its way back to Rawtenstall.
Same location, but looking back to Bacup. The station was situated here and was raised up (approximately the height of the old embankment in the middle of the picture). A lot of earth work has been carried out over the years to remove the embankments in this area. We really did struggle to picture the station here, until we saw some old pictures of the site.
More bridge remnants just after Waterfoot. The building on the left is clearly marked on old 1900 maps we have found. It must have been pretty noisy in the house when a train went past!
Waterfoot goods wear house. This building has survived and is now used as a depot for the parcel firm, TNT.
Again more bridge remnants near the goods wear house at Waterfoot.

The line is passing back over the Irwell. Again we didn't know that this was the approximate location of Clough fold station. With further research we discovered that Clough Fold station was located around here, and it was quite a complex station. There was station, signal box, level crossing and a footbridge. It was also raised up over the Irwell.

As you can see - not a lot to be seen today!

We followed Holt Mill Road back down to the line. Quite a lot of the line has been lost to modern buildings. However with luck we came back across the line.
We are back on the line here, which has been converted in to a (muddy) pathway.
Another picture taken along the path. We are quickly heading towards Rawtenstall, and we now going downhill!
Looking back towards Waterfoot, back up the line.
This was another unexpected find. The original brick viaduct, again raised, which takes the railway over the Irwell.
We managed to get this shot of the viaduct, not the best picture, and it doesn't really show it in its best light. A great find!
Looking back up the line on the viaduct. Notice how the path is much better here, its is tarmaced from this point.
We are really making headway in to Rawtenstall here, the line is on a downward trend and we made good progress.
Looking back up towards the viaduct.
Here the line came back close to Bacup road. We are not sure if the line was slightly raised at this point, as the area has ben re-developed.
Here we started to loose the line, we assume it went through the middle of the wear house pictured, we are looking back up to Bacup.
Looking back towards Rawtenstall, again we have lost the alignment. Looking at old pictures we think the line went round the gas works to the right.
Maybe the line passed under the raised gas pipe in the picture??
Again we are not sure where the line ran here. Possibly round the back of the pub? Bacup road is on the left of the picture.
We know the line ran here, as the new Bocholt road was built on the old line to ease congestion and access to the M66 at Rawtenstall.
Further down Bocholt Way.
We are looking up towards Bacup, Bocholt Way is on the left. The Asda store to the right. We believe the line crossed the Irwell around this point.

Rawtenstall station as it is today. This is the terminus of the ELR, where you can see steam trains running regular from Bury.

 

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