Preston Station - Past & Present
The WLR - Preston (East Lancs)

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When the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway took over the running of the WLR, the Fishergate Hill terminus was quickly relegated to Goods Station, with passenger traffic diverted into the L&Y side of the joint station closer to the town centre. The "East Lancs" platforms were therefore responsible for handling trains to both the East and West of Lancashire. This part of the station was closed in 1972 following the "rationalisation" of the lines around Preston, associated with the introduction of Preston "Power Box". 

The East Lancs platforms are covered elsewhere on this website, but the photos below show West Lancs trains using the "East Lancs station".

pic1The wheel flanges of the 13-50 Southport - Preston, hauled by Fairburn 2-6-4T No. 42132, squeal round the sharp curves into the East Lancs side of Preston Station. Preston East Lancs Goods signal box is hidden to the right of the locomotive and Butler Street Goods Yard is immediately ahead. The structure overhead is Vicars Bridge and this provides the only road access to the former LNWR and LYR jointly-owned Park Hotel, opened in 1882. This magnificent Gothic-style building could be clearly seen when looking north from the platforms of Penwortham [Cop Lane] station, overlooking from its lofty height the Ribble Valley and the ornamental Miller Park. Apart from Vicars Bridge, it also had close access to Preston Station, via its own entrance and booking office at the southern end of the old platform 6. This structure has survived, albeit nowadays as part of a Local Government building known as East Cliff.
(c) Alan Castle 13th July 1963
pic2Presumably anxious to get home to their beds, the crew of Fairburn 2-6-4T No. 42132 belonging to Southport shed have a last cigarette together and glance optimistically through the gloomy shadows of Preston's Platform 10 for any last minute potential custom making a hurried dash from the distant ticket barrier. The tip from the guard is anticipated shortly, as departure time approaches for the last train of the day, the 22-39 all stations to Southport Chapel Street.
(c) Alan Castle December 1963
pic3With cylinder drain-cocks open following a long wait in the East Lancs bay of Preston's Platform 11 on 13th July 1963, Stanier 2-6-4T No. 42494 draws the 17-30 Preston - Southport over the pointwork past one of the sun-bleached running-in boards. The structure in the background is East Lancs Goods Signal Box which controls the whole throat of this side of the station, as well as that to Butler Street Goods yard. Immediately in front of, and above it, is the timber-decked Vicars Bridge, which provided the only road access to the one-time LNWR and LYR jointly-owned Park Hotel. This opened in 1882 and is a magnificent Gothic-style building overlooking the ornamental Miller Park and the Ribble Valley and which had close access to the station via its own entrance and booking office at the southern end of the old platform 6. The building has survived, although no longer serving its original purpose, and nowadays forms part of a Local Government complex of buildings that have received late twentieth century additions that, arguably, do it little justice.
(c) Alan Castle 13th July 1963
pic4The honour of hauling at least four of the last day service trains fell upon Lostock Hall's ubiquitous BR Standard Class 2MT 2-6-0s. Here, on a somewhat damp and overcast morning, No.78040 draws its six non-corridor vehicles out of Preston's bay Platform 12 with the 10-12 departure to Southport Chapel Street. 
(c) Alan Castle 6th September 1964
pic5Upon arrival at Preston's Platform 8 with the 13-17 ex- Southport, several alighting passengers linger for a final look at Lostock Hall's BR Standard Class 2MT 2-6-0 No. 78040 which is about to uncouple and stable its stock. Notice that the crew have been considerate enough to connect up the carriage steam-heat pipe on this somewhat inclement and dismal autumn day.
(c) Alan Castle 6th September 1964
pic6A very rare visitor to West Lancs metals, BR Standard 6MT Pacific No. 72007 "Clan Mackenzie" of Carlisle Kingmoor shed waits in the old Platform 13 at Preston with a Railway Correspondence & Travel Society [Lancs & North West Branch] special ultimately bound for Hellifield and Carnforth, but which will take in the WLR on the first stage of its itinerary. Both Platform 13 (much-used over the years for the through passage of returning excursion traffic from Blackpool to Yorkshire) and the adjacent Butler Street Goods Yard and warehouse to the right are later to disappear underneath a massive car park serving the new Fishergate Shopping Centre.
(c) Alan Castle 23rd May 1964
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