Preston Station - Past & Present
The WLR - Preston Fishergate Hill

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p11Saturday, 22nd September 1962 and ex-LNWR "Super D" 0-8-0 No. 49451, at the head of 5 ex-LMS coaches, awaits departure with an RCTS-organised enthusiasts' excursion from the sidings adjacent to Preston [West Lancs Goods], the original Preston Fishergate Hill terminus of the West Lancashire Railway. The old station closing to regular passenger traffic in 1900, this is the first (and last) passenger train to use the station since the Preston Guild Week of 1922. The special is unable to depart from under the original canopy and platform area as there are no longer any adequate run-round facilities at that point. Having crossed the Ribble Bridge, it will reverse direction at Penwortham Junction to traverse the short section towards Whitehouse South Junction, from whence it will continue along former East Lancs Railway tracks through Todd Lane Junction, before turning right through Lostock Hall and onto LNW tracks proper at Farington Curve Junction, in order to head north again towards another long-closed passenger terminus, that at Longridge. 
13th July 1963

p4The photographs below show the former WLR Fishergate Hill terminus in a derelict state awaiting the inevitable arrival of the wrecker's ball. Even in this sorry state, the grand nature of the buildings is evident. The West Lancashire Railway, despite its financial position, didn't skimp on its buildings, clearly having ambitions beyond its means. 

It's not difficult to imagine the spacious booking hall filled with travellers taking advantage of a roaring fire in the fireplace, before venturing out onto the cold platform... for a few short years, at least, before being downgraded to Goods Station under the L&YR. In latter years, the building was used by local merchant Silcocks who continued to receive goods by rail into the 1970s.
Photos by Peter Vickers

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