Horwich Works

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Horwich Works was a railway works built in 1886 by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR) in Horwich, near Bolton, in the North West of England when the company moved from its original works at Miles Platting, Manchester.


Horwich works was built on 142 hectares of land bought in April 1884 for £36,000. Rivington House, the first of several workshops was 106.7m long by 16.8m wide and opened in February 1887. The long brick built workshops had full-height arched windows and were separated by tram and rail tracks. Work to construct the three bay, 463.3m long by 36m wide, erecting shop began in March 1885. Inside were 20 overhead cranes.

An gauge railway, with approximately of track was built to carry materials around the works complex, modelled on a similar system at Crewe Works on the London and North Western Railway. Two small 0-4-0 tank locomotives were bought from Beyer Peacock in 1887 to haul stores trains around the site, and six more were acquired at intervals to 1901. The first of these was bought from Beyer Peacock, but the remainder were built at Horwich. From 1930 they were gradually withdrawn from service, the last, Wren, (a Beyer Peacock engine) was withdrawn in 1961 and is preserved at the National Railway Museum.

Early production

The first locomotive built by the LYR at Horwich was a 2-4-2 tank engine designed by John Aspinall. This locomotive was LYR...
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