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Clifton railway station (Greater Manchester)

Clifton railway station is a railway station in Clifton, Greater Manchester, England which was formerly called Clifton Junction. It lies on the Manchester–Preston line.

Clifton National Rail
Clifton railway station.jpg
The ramp leading to the southbound platform
Local authoritySalford
Coordinates53°31′20″N 2°18′51″W / 53.5223°N 2.3141°W / 53.5223; -2.3141Coordinates: 53°31′20″N 2°18′51″W / 53.5223°N 2.3141°W / 53.5223; -2.3141
Grid referenceSD793028
Station codeCLI
Managed byNorthern
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryF2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Decrease 298
2014/15Decrease 152
2015/16Decrease 116
2016/17Increase 352
2017/18Decrease 280
Passenger Transport Executive
PTETransport for Greater Manchester
Original companyEast Lancashire Railway
Pre-groupingLancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
June 1847Opened as Clifton Junction
6 May 1974Renamed Clifton
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Clifton from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.


The railway line between Salford and Bolton, the Manchester and Bolton Railway (M&BR), opened in 1838, but had no stations between Agecroft Bridge and Ringley.[1] In 1844, the Manchester, Bury and Rossendale Railway (MB&RR) was authorised to build a line from a junction with the M&BR at Clifton, to Rawtenstall. It opened to the public on 28 September 1846,[2] by which time the MB&RR had amalgamated with other companies to become the East Lancashire Railway,[3] and the M&BR had itself amalgamated with the Manchester and Leeds Railway;[4] the M&LR became the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway in 1847.[5]

A 1905 Railway Clearing House Junction Diagram showing (upper right) railways in the vicinity of Clifton

The Bury line ran northward from the junction, crossing the Irwell Valley on Clifton Viaduct (known locally as the "13 arches"), to run on the opposite side of the valley to the Bolton line. A station at the junction, with two platforms for each route (Bolton or Bury), opened in June 1847, and was named Clifton Junction.[2][6]

The line to Bury closed in 1966, but (as of October 2013) the viaduct remains a Grade II listed local landmark.

On 6 May 1974 the station was renamed Clifton,[6][7] (even though the area has become known as Clifton Junction), and in the 1990s the service was reduced to one train per day in each direction.

The closest station to Clifton Junction with a regular service is Swinton 1.25 miles (2.01 km) away on the line between Manchester and Wigan Wallgate via Atherton.

Local industry made good use of Clifton Junction railway station long before the advent of mass car ownership when three factories were established close by enabling employees and visitors access by train. The three factories were Magnesium Elektron Ltd, Chloride Batteries Ltd and Pilkington's Tiles Ltd.


The service at Clifton railway station is very limited in the current 2015-16 timetable (and has been since 1992),[8] with just one train calling in each direction between Manchester Victoria and Wigan Wallgate per day - southbound (at 07:06) in the morning peak and northbound (at 18:22) in the evening.[9] In 2012, the station had only a small amount of services day in each direction (local services run by Northern); only 170 passengers were recorded as using the station in 2010–11. The single daily service each way was suspended between May 2015 and the December 2015 timetable change due to the ongoing modernisation work at Farnworth Tunnel, with a replacement bus provided instead. The station reopened on schedule on 14 December 2015.

Electric service commenced on Monday 11 February 2019, utilising Class 319 Electric Multiple Units.

There is no Sunday service.


  1. ^ Marshall, John (1969). The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, volume 1. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. pp. 30–30. ISBN 0-7153-4352-1.
  2. ^ a b Marshall 1969, p. 110
  3. ^ Marshall 1969, p. 106
  4. ^ Marshall 1969, p. 33
  5. ^ Marshall 1969, p. 65
  6. ^ a b Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 63. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  7. ^ Slater, J.N., ed. (July 1974). "Notes and News: Stations renamed by LMR". Railway Magazine. London: IPC Transport Press Ltd. 120 (879): 363. ISSN 0033-8923.
  8. ^ Disused Stations - Clifton JunctionDisused Stations; Retrieved 14 December 2015
  9. ^ Northern Rail Timetable 14 Manchester & Manchester Airport to Southport & Kirkby, 13 Dec 2015 - 14 May 2016Northern Rail; Retrieved 14 December 2015

External linksEdit

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Kearsley   Northern
Wigan Wallgate - Manchester Victoria
Limited Services
  Salford Crescent
Disused railways
Dixon Fold
Line open, station closed
  Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway   Agecroft Bridge
Line open, station closed
Molyneux Brow
Line and station closed