Rawtenstall Station – A planning application has been submitted today (31 August) to Rossendale Council to expand our station facilities.
Historic East Lancashire Railway – the original East Lancashire Railway opened in 1846 with a line connecting Rawtenstall, Ramsbottom and Bury to Manchester Victoria Station via Clifton Junction. The line was extended to Accrington in 1848 via a junction at Stubbins, the line from Rawtenstall was then extended to Bacup in stages with Bacup Station opening in 1852. The railway was absorbed into the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway in 1859.
1992 – New Life into Rawtenstall Station
The ELR are very proud to have been the driving force working with our ELR Trust Board partners in reopening the line and building the current station facilities. Since this derelict station was re-opened in 1992, it has always been an ambition of the ELR and the ELR Trust Board to develop and expand facilities. We know that erecting Lancashire & Yorkshire style canopies, as we did at Ramsbottom and Bury Bolton street, were transformational in creating the heritage feel and look, something our many visitors enjoy.
Proposed Station Development
The East Lancs Railway is a popular heritage railway and is a premier visitor attraction in the Irwell Valley attracting over 200,000 visitors in 2016. Rawtenstall Station forms the northern terminus of the railway, the objective of these proposals is to significantly develop and improve the facilities offered to visitors at this key destination. The proposals comprise of:
- A new café building adjacent building to the main platform also providing an educational/exhibition resource with improved and expanded toilet facilities;
- Reconfiguring the existing station building in order to expand the successful real ale bar “the Buffer Stops” established in 2013;
- A new platform canopy rescued from Mumps station, Oldham and is in the original 1860’s Lancashire & Yorkshire style;
- A new station forecourt area to the front of the existing station, promoting closer links to the town centre;
- Non railway side, alterations to station car park to accommodate a new entrance to the proposed café building.
Station Development Costs
On any scale this is a very visionary and ambitious development for the ELR. The estimated project costs are around £600,000. As a charity its simply not possible for the ELR to directly fund a project of this scale and magnitude. The project also has to have sequential phases as follows:
- Phase 1 – Erect canopy to existing station building
- Phase 2 – Erect new station building
- Phase 3 – Erect canopy to new station building
- Phase 4 – Expand facilities to the Buffer Stops
- Phase 5 – Contract new forecourt area to front of station
Funding the Project
The ELR will launch a public funding campaign to try and secure the necessary of funds for the materials and employing specialist contractors. It is anticipated that the canopy works will be carried out by our volunteers in the P Way Team. The ELR will also be working closely with Rossendale BC, Lancashire County Council and external grant funding bodies to explore other funding opportunities.