East Lancashire Railway 1844–1859

East Lancashire Railway 1844–1859

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East Lancashire Railway 1844–1859

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The East Lancashire Railway operated from 1844 to 1859 in the historic county of Lancashire, England. It began as a railway from Clifton via Bury to Rawtenstall, and during its short life grew into a complex network of lines connecting towns and cities including Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and Blackburn.

During a period of rapid growth the company acquired several of its competitors, including the Blackburn and Preston Railway, which it purchased to gain access to Preston. It faced competition from companies such as the North Union Railway, and was involved in a notable stand-off in 1849 with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. Following several years of discussions, the East Lancashire Railway was in 1859 amalgamated with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. Parts of the network remain in use today, and a section of the original line between Bury and Rawtenstall is now operated as a heritage railway.


Manchester and Bolton Railway

In 1830, the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal Company began to promote the construction of a railway along the line of their canal, from Salford to Bolton and Bury. Following an act of parliament to change from a canal company to a railway company, they built their line from Manchester to Bolton, and, although the route was slightly different to that originally proposed, the railway ran alongside...
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