Perhaps Blackrod has never been a major location on the railway map, but it was once a junction station on the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway with over 70 departures a day, three platforms, a goods yard and a manned ticket office. Now, just a couple of platforms and "bus shelters", Blackrod Station was once much more.

(c) B MillsTo its inhabitants, it's still known as "the village", but Blackrod is probably too large to be accurately described as such. However, when the railway came, the station was named after Blackrod's larger neighbour, Horwich. The station went through a number of name changes, starting out as "Horwich Road" before being renamed "Horwich & Blackrod". In 1870, it became "Horwich Junction" to reflect the fact that the Horwich branch had opened, but just three years later, in February 1873, the station became "Horwich and Blackrod Junction". Finally, in April 1888, the station became simply "Blackrod".

Steam North West

Steam North West coverBernard Mills, who kindly provided colour images including the one at the head of this page, now has his long awaited book published - and it comes highly recommended for all North West steam enthusiasts.

The book is a pictorial account of Bernards travels around the North West during the dying days of steam, during which he recorded on film - all in colour - the final throws of main-line steam in Britain. The author, a West-Country man, made the pilgrimage up to Lancashire on more than one occasion. Accompanying captions are informative and entertaining and image quality is very good throughout.

Steam North West is available from all good bookshops and online via Amazon.

Latest Photos

RIP Blackrod Junction Signal Box

After 140 years of service, Blackrod Junction Signal Box has finally closed.

Blackrod's signal box had survived a number of brushes with death over the last 50 years, in later years sandwiched between the large computerised systems at Preston and Manchester, and despite the loss of the station yard, coal sidings, Cooke & Nuttalls sidings and the Horwich Branch itself, during that period.

The end finally came at 3am on Sunday 10th February 2013, after more than 130 years of service, when it was signed off by the S&T engineers & simply deactivated, with dismantling of the redundant equipment taking place throughout Sunday.

Demolition finally happened over the weekend of the 1st & 2nd of June 2013.

RIP Blackrod Junction.

The sun fnally sets on Blackrod Junction Signal Box

There are a number of photos in our archive, of Blackrod Junction Signal Box over the years, including several of its final days.