Preston Station - Past & Present
The WLR - New Longton & Hutton

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pic1Having received the 'tip' from the guard, Stanier 'Black 5' 4-6-0 No. 45206 clears its cylinder drain-cocks and prepares to depart from New Longton & Hutton with 1L59, the 17-32 Southport - Accrington. This is the only train of the day to run over WLR metals bearing Class 1 lamps; the 'express passenger' status presumably having been bestowed on the working by the timetabling department as some form of recognition of the fact that it does not call at either Hoole or Penwortham. Nevertheless, 1L59 has actually called everywhere else en-route!
(c) Alan Castle 22nd August 1964

pic2The sun sets on the warm cloudless evening of 1st September 1964 and shadows begin to lengthen as bunker-first Stanier 2-6-4 tank No. 42445 accelerates the 18-35 Southport - Preston over the level crossing away from New Longton & Hutton and onto the gradual descent towards journey's end. The fireman will be enjoying a well-earned rest, as the fire will now require no further attention. The rosebay willowherb is beginning to take a hold on the land in the foreground which, only a few short months previously, indeed until about April 1964, still possessed trackwork providing access into the former goods yard. Although now with no booked traffic, the long unremunerative freight facilities having been removed some years before those elsewhere on this route, the now vanished rails had still seen the occasional full wagonload of household coal being dropped off for the benefit a local coal merchant. Such is the way of things that will come, sooner or later, to all rural wayside halts.
(c) Alan Castle 1st September 1964

pic3The evening shadows lengthen at the end of yet another balmy summer's day as Bolton shed's Stanier 2-6-4T No. 42626 rolls over the level crossing and into New Longton & Hutton with a 3-coach set forming the 19-05 Preston - Southport. Slightly unusual is the ex-LMS corridor coach leading. No. 42626 is to enter the history books the following year by being the much-polished and decorated loco selected to haul the final passenger train out of Horwich, as the crow flies but a few miles from here.
(c) Alan Castle 1st September 1964

pic4The porter at New Longton & Hutton hopefully eyes the 3 coaches of the 19-05 Preston - Southport as this draws to a halt, on the lookout for opening droplights and emerging arms that might indicate potential custom.
(c) Alan Castle 5th September 1964

pic5A fine view from the footplate of Lostock Hall's BR Standard 2MT 2-6-0 No. 78040, detailing most of New Longton & Hutton's spartan platform facilities, as the 13-17 from Southport enters the platform end. The housing development evident at this, one of the line's busier stations, sadly has come too late in the day to save the line. The competing 'bus services operated for many years by Ribble Motors Ltd have managed to exert an ever-increasing stranglehold on the majority of traffic and, upon closure of the railway, are now poised to grasp what little remains. The 'replacement rail service', i.e. the odd additional bus that is to be laid on at busier periods, will provide nowhere near as rapid (or as cheap) transport to Preston town centre. 
(c) Alan Castle 6th September 1964

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