Now the midpoint of the East Lancashire Railway (ELR), Ramsbottom Train Station is situated in a small lively town of artisan shops & cafes which is full of life year-round – and not forgetting the stunning St Paul’s Church.
Ramsbottom Station itself was built in 1844 by Manchester, Bury and Rossendale Railway though in short order MBRR was absorbed by the East Lancashire Railway (a year later) with a line running from Stubbins Junction to north of Ramsbottom extended to Accrington (by the ELR). In 1859 the ELR was absorbed by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR).
The station was provided with up-and-down platforms linked by a footbridge, canopies, and a station building on the downside. A goods yard and shed were located on the site of the present car park.
The level crossing and signal box remain in their original condition.
There were extensive sidings placed north of the crossing. On the downside were largely used for coal traffic, but the ones opposite constituted extensive sorting sidings.
From 1923 until its closure in 1948 (Jan 1), the line was operated by London Midland & Scottish Railway – at which point it became nationalised under the London Midland Region. The station was rationalised from the late 1960s, bringing the demolition of the station buildings and Up platform (used by trains towards Bury). It finally closed to passengers on 5 June 1972, it closed to freight later in 1980.
The East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society, (ELRPS) was formed in 1970, creating a dedicated company to manage and preserve the historic line. In 1972 an old Goods Shed became available, and the Bury Transport Museum is born, opening its doors on 26th August and raising much-needed funds to help re-open the ELR line. In the 1980’s there were ongoing discussions between local and national authorities, eventually lead to the formation of the ELR Trust and the remaining track and building coming under the control of the trust.
You can read about the full history of the ELR on their website here.