Preston Station - Past & Present
TRAINS TO THE SOUTH

What would eventually become the West Coast Main Line, first reached Preston in 1838 when the North Union railway arrived from the south, bringing with it the posibility of direct travel to London by rail. Just as important was access to Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, all of which would change Preston forever.

The line eventually became part of the London & North Western Railway, but the North Union name lived on for many years. Until the demise of the East Lancs platforms, the main north-south platforms were known still referred to as the North Union station, and the sidings to the south as the North Union Sidings.

pic1[Left] Fairburn LMS 2-6-4T no 42096 passes Skew Bridge on a Wigan to Preston Stopping Train

Photo by Stan Withers

 

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[Right] Black 5 no 44676 passes Skew Bridge with a Preston to Wigan stopping service. 

Photo by Stan Withers

As Preston's railways grew, a complex network of junctions south of the station developed in the Farington and Lostock Hall area, to allow trains access to the Ormskirk and Blackburn lines.  Stations were provided at Farington on the north-south route and Lostock Hall on the east-west route. Lostock Hall would eventually become famous as one of the last three steam sheds in the country, eventually closing in August 1968 when all steam ceased on British Railways.

pic3 [Left] Rebuilt Patriot no 45522 "Prestatyn", again at Skew Bridge, with a fast fish train, probably from Fleetwood.

Photo by Stan Withers

 

pic4[Right] Black 5 no 45131 passes Skew Bridge on a southbound car train to Bathgate (?)

Photo by Stan Withers

A novelty of the junctions in this area was thata train could travel south out of Preston station via Preston Junction, Lostock Hall Junction, and Farington Curve Junction to pass back through Preston in the oposite direction. In fact some trains from the north did just that to gain access to the Blackpool line without having to reverse in the station.

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[Left] Black 5 no 45082 passes Farington Junction Yard with a southbound mineral working. In the background are Lostock Hall Carriage Sheds and the Engine Shed coaling  tower.

Photo by Stan Withers

 

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[Right] Crosti boilered 9F no 92022 passing Farington Junction Yard with a southbound fitted freight.

Photo by Stan Withers