Hall Royd Junction Signal Box Nameboard
NEW! Upper Quadrant Corrugated 4mm signal transfers including LNE shunt, disc and spectacle plates!

Nelson & Colne prototype
Past and Present

The Gannow Junction (Rose Grove) to Colne branch line has seen better days. Reduced to a single track line with no loops or sidings, it - remarkably - in March 2014 still sported a level crossing and a manned signal box.

But in late March 2014 Network Rail was readying to replace track, apply weed killer and close the signal box. There was also an unspecified infrastructure problem that Network Rail proposed to demolish at Nelson - could this be the rare surviving L&YR island platform canopy?

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Rose Grove Station, with westbound coal train. View eastward, towards Burnley, Colne, Todmorden etc.: ex-L&Y (East Lancs. section). The train, no doubt from Yorkshire via Todmorden, is headed by ex-WD Austerity' 2-8-0 No. 90283. This engine was built as WD 7407 (later 77407) in 12/43, worked from Colwick (one of 450 loaned to the Railways - 350 to the LNER) before being sent over to the Continent in 12/44: it returned to England in 7/46, stored at Richborough until put to work on the GWR at Llanelly in 5/47; under BR it was numbered 90283 and allocated to the LMR at Rose Grove in 3/49 and survived untl 10/65.

© Copyright Nigel Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Opened 1848 by the East Lancashire Railway on its Blackburn to Burnley line, view east from Rosegrove Lane bridge. Taken from roughly the same position as Ben Brooksbank's 1951 photograph

Rose Grove Railway Station looking north on Sunday 23 March 2014 with a Permanent Way train standing on the loop ready for the start of the Colne branch relaying due to start the next weekend.

Copyright J K Wallace, all rights reserved

Rose Grove Railway Station looking north on Sunday 23 March 2014 with a Permanent Way train standing on the loop ready for the start of the Colne branch relaying due to start the next weekend. Given the incredible shrinkage in facilities at this once important hub, at least the current view shows the first signs of regeneration in a very long time.

© Copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Rose Grove station adjoins the 1970s-built M65 motorway which is just at the right-hand end of the road bridge here. In Germany, Holland or France, it would have been second-nature to provide a 'park and ride', or at least a 'kiss 'n' ride' here, but this kind of thinking did not enter the heads of the faceless bean-counters who were in charge of transport planning at the time. Here a local train for Blackpool picks up a handful of passengers.

Rose Grove Station looking south on 23 March 2014.

Copyright J K Wallace, all rights reserved

Rose Grove Station looking south on 23 March 2014.

© Copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

There was a time when Rose Grove was an important station with buildings such as booking office, waiting rooms, toilets, etc. on the platform. There was even an engine shed nearby. Now there is a vast expanse of platform with a totally inadequate bus shelter. Here a fast diesel train destined for Leeds via Hall Royd Junction passes the station.

Rose Grove Station looking north towards Gannow Junction with the permanent way train stabled in the loop in readiness for the major relaying of the Gannow Junction - Colne railway line on Sunday 23 March 2014.

Copyright J K Wallace, all rights reserved

Rose Grove Station looking north towards Gannow Junction with the permanent way train stabled in the loop in readiness for the major relaying of the Gannow Junction - Colne railway line on Sunday 23 March 2014.

The permanent way train stands ready to relay the Colne branch with metal sleepers to hand.

Copyright J K Wallace, all rights reserved

The permanent way train stands ready to relay the Colne branch with metal sleepers to hand.

Sign describing the planned closure of the Colne branch 30 March 2014

Copyright J K Wallace, all rights reserved

Sign describing the planned closure of the Colne branch 30 March to 6 April 2014.

Burnley Barracks Station as photographed by Ben Brooksbank in the early 1960s.

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Burnley Barracks Station: View eastward, towards Colne; ex-Lancashire & Yorkshire main line, Preston/Manchester - Blackburn - Accrington - Burnley - Colne.

Burnley Barracks station on 23 March 2014 immediately prior to a major relaying program by Network Rail

Copyright J K Wallace, all rights reserved

Burnley Barracks station on 23 March 2014 immediately prior to a major relaying program by Network Rail.

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Brierfield Station. View southward, towards Burnley, Accrington, Blackburn and Preston; ex-L&Y (Lancashire & Yorkshire railway) Manchester/Preston - Blackburn - Accrington - Burnley - Colne line.

Brierfield Station taken from the footbridge looking south 22 March 2014

Brierfield Station taken from the footbridge looking south 22 March 2014.

Click here for a detailed photo survey of Brierfield Signal Box on 22 March 2014.

Prototype 140.001 railbus leaving Brierfeld for Colne on 29 September 1981.

Photo Graham Roose, Copyright J. K. Wallace

Prototype 140.001 railbus leaving Brierfeld for Colne on 29 September 1981.

Brierfield Station looking north 22 March 2014

There is still a signal in the same location. Note the sleeper access road ready for the 9-day line closure scheduled to start on 29 March 2014.

140.001 at Brierfield

Photo Graham Roose, Copyright J. K. Wallace

Prototype 140.001 railbus returning to Brierfeld from Colne on 29 September 1981.

Class 105 Craven DMU at Nelson, Lancashire sets off for Colne on 23 May 1977

Photo Graham Roose, Copyright J. K. Wallace

Class 105 Craven DMU at Nelson, Lancashire sets off for Colne on 23 May 1977

Click here for a more detailed survey of Nelson Station canopy and subway on 22 March 2014.

Nelson Station showing abandoned platform looking south 22 March 2014.

Nelson Station showing abandoned platform looking south 22 March 2014.

© Copyright Dr Neil Clifton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Originally named after a public house, the station then passed on the name to a whole town. Only short trains now call at this formerly important station, so the outer ends of the platforms are abandoned to weeds.

Nelson Station on 22 March 2014 showing train departing for stations to Blackpool South.

Nelson Station on 22 March 2014 showing train departing for stations to Blackpool South.

© Copyright Nigel Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Colne railway station, Lancashire, 1984. Opened in 1848 by the Leeds and Bradford Extension Railway (from behind the camera), the East Lancashire Railway arrived here a year later from Burnley. The line from Leeds and Skipton closed in 1970 leaving only the ELR line to Burnley and beyond. View south towards Burnley. There used to be a second platform to the right.

Colne Station 22 March 2014

Colne Station 22 March 2014 with the 17:51 ready to depart for Blackpool South.