Whittingham Hospital Railway

Whittingham Hospital Railway

Whittingham Hospital Railway

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The Whittingham Hospital Railway (W.H.R.) was a private light railway operated by Lancashire County Council to serve their local mental asylum at Whittingham. Opened in 1889, it carried goods and passengers between Grimsargh on the Preston and Longridge Railway and the hospital grounds. It closed to all traffic in 1957.

The asylum

The asylum was built in 1873 and enlarged in 1879 to accommodate 2895 patients.

In the early days of the hospital, all supplies, including coal and provisions, had to be transported by horse and cart from Preston – a distance of 7 miles (11 km) – or from Longridge at the terminus of the Preston and Longridge Railway some 3½ miles (5.6 km) distant. The cartage was expensive; permanently staffed with a stud of horses and vehicles. In 1884, the significant costs of this operation prompted the authorities to consider building a railway between the hospital and the village of Grimsargh 2 miles (3.2 km) to the southeast.

The committees

A four man committee made its first report in August, 1884 when it estimated the cost of the 2,863 yard (2,617 m) line at £12,000...
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