An early plan for a line from Manchester to Preston failed to gain approval, which resulted in two railways being built, eventually forming the line we know today. The Manchester & Bolton Railway gained it's Act of Parliament in 1831, with construction beginning in 1833 and was finally opened in 1838.
The Bolton & Preston Railway followed swiftly on the heals of the MBR, with the section through Blackrod opening in 1837 - before the MBR was completed. At that time though, the line's northern limit was Rawlinson Bridge, a short-lived terminus for the line , situated between Adlington and Chorley. Blackrod Station (then Horwich Road) opened in February 1841, shortly before the completion of the northern part of the line which then ran to Chorley and connected with the main Anglo-Scottish route at Euxton, and thense to Preston.
In 1846 the MBR and BPR were both swallowed-up by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (briefly as the Manchester & Leeds Rly), which at "grouping" became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) in 1922. Nationalisation came in 1948 at which point, like the rest of the UK's network, it became part of British Railways.
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