|Introduction to Littleborough Station|
|The railway came to Littleborough in 1839 when the metals of the Manchester & Leeds Railway Company were finally complete from Oldham Road in Manchester. As the Summit Tunnel would take some time to complete, Littleborough Station became the terminus of the line. Today our station is the last one in the area controlled by the Transport for Greater Manchester Authority before you reach Yorkshire. The site is approximately 520 feet above sea level and the platforms are on top of an embankment about twelve feet above the surrounding streets; being in a valley this means that passengers waiting for trains feel rather exposed. There were on both platforms passenger shelters whose design was derived from that used locally for bus shelters. Vandals found these structures an appealing target and they suffered much damage. About ten years ago the authorities replaced our shelters with a design said to be ‘vandal proof’, unfortunately they were not “rainproof” and so useless as shelters, It has been said by many train users that on the raised platforms at Littleborough the rain is normally ‘horizontal’. The Railway Company have now developed a solution and will screen the "Shelters" when funds applied forare available.|
The main buildings remaining from the earlier operation are on platform two, the platform for Leeds bound trains, this building has now been leased by the Littleborough Historical and Archeological Society has now renovated the building to become their Archive. ( http://www.littleboroughhistory.com) which is now open as the Littleborough History Centre at weekends.
In the distant past there was a rudimentary sloping access to platform two, now overgrown and inaccessible, at platform level. The platform for Manchester, No 1, has never had ramped access so both platforms are accessible only by stairs of about eighteen steps each. Under the Governments "Access fo All" scheme ramps are now under construction to both platforms and should be in use by June 2012.
The Friends of Littleborough Stations.
The group came together about 2005 as a result of the frustration of passengers with young children and pushchairs who together with the elderly and disabled found using the trains very difficult.
After a meeting of concerned users the Friends group was formed and applied to the Train Operating Company - Northern Rail- for recognition as official Station Adopters.
The Friends have spent considerable time lobbying the various authorities for provision of access and improved shelters. The shelters remain a problem as there is no budget at this time to which their replacement or modification can be attached. The national Government have provided monies under their ‘Access for All’ initiative for the construction of ramped access to all platforms; we look forward to the implementation of this scheme.
In order to make the Station more attractive for travellers the Friends have purchased planting tubs with the financial assistance of the Local Authority and concerned local Businessmen. Northern Rail have supported our efforts and assisted them in several ways. We now change the floral displays twice a year and keep them watered and tidied in the meantime. We also have a lending library in the waiting room on platform 2 where seconf=d hand paper back books are available for the traveling public.
At the end of 2008 the Friends decided to add the station at Smithy Bridge to our folio. We decided to plant the station in fence mounted planters as the platforms are not really wide enough for tubs. It was decided to include the children from the local primary school and the Gardening Club at Smithy Bridge Primary agreed to help. Four of the planters were installed at a lower level to allow the children to plant easily. The resulting floral display has received many favourable comments from passengers and one lady kindly wrote to Northern Rail to praise our efforts. The display is being adjusted as the season progresses.
For more information or to join the Friends contact :-
Chairman: John Stanley 01706 377426
Treasurer; : D. Pearson 01706 377685
Secretary and Editor of Newsletter:
Stuart Carmichael 01706 379817
Email dogoil@zen .co.uk