The Wigan Junction Railways by Dennis Sweeney.
Late arrivals on the scene in this part of Lancashire, the Wigan Junction Railways were tempted by the large and expanding coalfield to the south east of Wigan in the areas of Abram, Bickershaw and Westleigh. However, any incursion into what was the preserve of the London & North Western Railway would be problematic. The trials and tribulations of constructing a railway from Glazebrook, by a junction with the C.L.C route, to Wigan would test the resolve of the Wigan company to the limit and without the financial clout of their paymasters, the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway they would undoubtedly have floundered in the attempt. Far more ambitious schemes from Wigan to the Fylde Coast would never see the light of day and the line to Wigan regarded as a backwater of the Great Central and later London & North Eastern Railways.
127pp, 139 illustrations, some in colour, O.S. maps, diagrams etc.
Extract from reviews by Steam Days magazine which reviewed "The Wigan Junction Railways" and 'The St. Helens and Wigan Junction Railway" simultaneously.
"It is the story of these locally promoted lines, operated by the MS&LR from inception and absorbed by the GCR in 1906 that these books explore. Both of these titles draw exclusivley from original research and include a varied and interesting mix of black and white and colour images, track diagrams, maps and documentation including contractors drawings. Appendices in both books offer a selection of timetables which serve to inform that Wigan enjoyed a fairly generous service throughout the day to Manchester Central and that the St. Helens service was pretty dismal. I enjoyed these two titles which offer fascinating and detailed accounts of a part of the network that will have no doubt, passed many by'.
Extract from reviews by The Railway and Canal Historical Society which reviewed "The Wigan Junction Railways" and 'The St. Helens and Wigan Junction Railway" simultaneously.
The opening chapters of each book summarise the early history of the branches up to 1st January 1906, the date at which they were taken over by the Great Cenrtal Railway. Subsequent chapters describe and illustrate, in sequential order of route, the individual stations along the lines. In both books monochrome and colour photographs are of good quality and accompanying captions are well researched and informative. The photograpic subjects include locomotives, railcars, DMUs, stations, structures, signal boxes, junctions, rolling stock, mining and many other industries. Copious maps, diagrams and ariel views provide a useful aid to routes, station layouts and locations. Each book contains a bibliography. The books are well produced both in content and appearance and provide a useful contribution to the history of two branch lines about which little has been published previously".