Really Sidetracked - Kenyon Junction
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Drivers on the A5207 between Lowton and Culcheth must often wonder why there is a long steel bridge just north of the hump backed bridge over the main Liverpool and Manchester Railway at the north end of Culcheth. This carried the road over the tracks of the Bolton branch off the main line at Kenyon Junction.
This was the world’s first junction between two main lines, the Liverpool and Manchester having opened in 1830 and the Kenyon and Leigh Junction Railway which was opened in 1831 to connect it with the Bolton and Leigh Railway which itself had opened three years before as the North West’s first public railway.
The station known as Kenyon Junction (at first Bolton Junction) was extensive with four platforms served by covered overbridges and there were extensive goods sidings. For 120 years it was a busy junction but closed to passengers in 1961. For details and nostalgic photos see (visit link)
All the sidings and track have now gone and the Bolton Branch north of the East Lancashire Road (A580) half a mile to the North of Kenyon Junction is now the Atherleigh Way (A579). From the bridge one can still make out the curve of the lines running North out of the station and the goods yards, but the site of the station itself is hidden in the trees but has all been demolished and is not accessible. Do take care if you go onto the bridge as traffic is fast and frequent. From the notices it would seem that the bridge may not be here much longer!
Parking is possible at the cache site which appears to have been a station or goods depot approach. It is now a private road and the gates must not be obstructed. Because rejoining the road at this point is made hazardous because of the very limited view of traffic coming over the bridge you may be safer parking further along the straight section of road. As ever children must be kept carefully under control as traffic on this road can be very fast and it is a blind bend.
Mind you don’t get too scratched getting at the cache, it is only this which prevented me giving it wheelchair access attributes..
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