Westhead Halt railway station

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Westhead Halt
Place Westhead
Coordinates 53°33′56″N 2°50′56″W / 53.565569°N 2.848793°W / 53.565569; -2.848793Coordinates: 53°33′56″N 2°50′56″W / 53.565569°N 2.848793°W / 53.565569; -2.848793
Grid reference SD438080
Original company Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Pre-grouping Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Platforms Two
1 July 1906 (1906-07-01) Opened
18 June 1951 Closed to passengers
6 July 1964 Closed to all traffic
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Westhead Halt railway station was on the Skelmersdale branch,[1] which ran from Ormskirk to Rainford Junction via Skelmersdale. Most trains ran beyond Rainford Junction through to St Helens.[2]

The station was situated on Castle Lane, Westhead, near Ormskirk. It opened on 1 July 1906 and closed on 18 June 1951. The line through the station was lifted in the 1960s and the station has been demolished, though the trackbed can easily be found.


In July 1922 16 "Up" (southbound) trains called at the station on weekdays, with an extra on Saturday evenings. All originated at Ormskirk, several with connections from Southport. Ten Up trains called on Sundays. All trains continued to Rainford Junction where a few terminated, the majority continuing all stations to St Helens. The "Down" (northbound) service was similar.[3]

The trains all consisted of "Motor Cars – One class only". Please note that 'Motor Cars' then did not have their modern meaning, but consisted of a single railway coach joined to a dedicated steam locomotive. Their generic type is summarised in L&YR railmotors. Photographs appear in Bob Pixton's work on the line.[4]

In 1951 the Up service consisted of nine trains on weekdays with four extra on Saturdays, one of which terminated at Skelmersdale. The rolling stock was "Third Class Only". Of the nine trains five continued past Rainford Junction, all stations to St Helens. Eight trains called on Sundays, plying between Ormskirk and Rainford Junction only. The Down service was similar. As was often the case with such local services, these trains acquired a nickname – "The Skem Dodger".[5]

All local trains plying between Ormskirk and St Helens called at Rainford Junction, entailing a reverse. None used the 'direct line' between Bushey Lane Junction[6] and Randle Junction[7] which formed the third side of the triangle shown on the route diagram. That stretch was the preserve of goods trains, diversions and occasional specials.[8]

Preceding station   Disused railways   Following station
Line and station closed
  Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Skelmersdale Branch
Line closed, station open


  1. ^ Route mileages via railwaycodes.org.uk
  2. ^ Smith & Turner 2012, Map 45
  3. ^ Bradshaw 1922, p. 485
  4. ^ Pixton 1996, pp 87-90 & 101
  5. ^ Pixton 1996, p. 91
  6. ^ Pixton 1996, p. 92
  7. ^ Pixton 1996, p. 98
  8. ^ Pixton 1996, p. 102


  • Bradshaw, George (1985) [July 1922]. July 1922 Railway Guide. Newton Abbot: David and Charles. ISBN 978-0-7153-8708-5. OCLC 12500436.
  • Pixton, Bob (1996), The Archive Photographs Series Widnes and St Helens Railways, Stroud: The Chalford Publishing Company, ISBN 978-0-7524-0751-7
  • Smith, Paul; Turner, Keith (2012), Railway Atlas Then and Now, Shepperton: Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7110-3695-6

External links

  • A detailed history Disused Stations UK
  • The station on an old O.S. Map npemaps
  • The halt on a navigable OS map with overlays National Library of Scotland
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