Blackrod Station - Overview
Blackrod station started life as a stop on the Bolton & Preston Railway, which opened between Bolton and Chorley in two stages during 1841. Initially as Horwich Road, it was probably a simple affair, providing all the usual facilities expected for a small suburban or rural station. During the first few years, nothing much changed, except for the progressive opening of the line northwards from Chorley to the NNWR line at Euxton Junction, giving access to Preston. Th Bolton & Preston became part of the North Union Railway in 1844, which in turn was swallowed up by the sprawling Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway in 1889.
Horwich Road became Horwich and Blackrod, as indicated on this 1845 OS map. It became Horwich Junction when the Horwich branch opened in 1870. This was followed quickly by the rather confusing Horwich & Blackrod Junction, but by 1880 the familiar Blackrod.. Suffice it to say that the station went throught a good few name changes...
The 1st edition 6 inch OS map [RIGHT], shows the situation in 1845, with the branch yet to be built and what appears to be a simple layout in the goods yard. Compare this with the 1890 25 inch map below, by which time, the track layout has developed to somewhere close to the 1950s sitution. On the corner of the goods yard entrance on Horwich Road (which would later become Station Road), is a building which may have been the Station Master's house. Note also that the Ridgeway Arms Inn.
The 25inch OS map [LEFT] surveyed in 1892. The track layout is clear here and few changes were made between this OS survey and closure of the goods yard. Note also the coal sidings to the north west of the station
By this date, the station name has reached its final version and the Horwich Branch has been added. Interestingly, the map still shows the railway as the Bolton & Preston, despite the fact that it had become part of the L&YR by this time.