Newton-le-Willows railway station
Newton-le-Willows railway station is a railway station in the town of Newton-le-Willows, in the north-west of England, and at the edge of the Merseytravel region (16 1⁄4 miles (26.2 km) from Liverpool Lime Street). It is situated on the northern route of the Liverpool to Manchester Line, the former Liverpool and Manchester Railway which opened in 1830. It is a busy feeder station for nearby towns which no longer have railway stations, such as Golborne, Billinge and Haydock. There is also a complimentary bus shuttle service to Haydock Park Racecourse on certain racedays.
Newton-le-Willows railway station
|Local authority||St Helens|
|Number of platforms||2|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections|
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|– Interchange||0.131 million|
|– Interchange||0.115 million|
|– Interchange||0.135 million|
|Passenger Transport Executive|
|Original company||London and North Western Railway|
|Pre-grouping||London and North Western Railway|
|Post-grouping||London, Midland and Scottish Railway|
|1845||Opened as Newton Bridge|
|14 June 1888||Renamed Newton-le-Willows|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Newton-le-Willows from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
When first opened, it was also on the main LNWR line from London to Preston and Scotland (what is now the West Coast Main Line) thanks to a number of company mergers & acquisitions - the former North Union Railway's branch from Parkside Junction (east of the new station) to Wigan North Western had opened back in 1832 and the completion of a north to west curve round to Lowton on 1 January 1847 by the Grand Junction Railway had allowed through running to commence from London Euston and Birmingham New Street via the original Newton Junction (the modern day Earlestown), then over the L&M and onwards to Wigan and the north from that date. Within three years however, the heavily congested section of the L&M through the station was bypassed for north-south traffic with the opening of a cut-off line from Winwick Junction to Golborne, though local stopping trains between Warrington Bank Quay and Wigan continued to call thereafter. The station was also well served by trains between Manchester Exchange and Liverpool Lime Street (many of which were routed via Leigh) and also to Chester General via Warrington and the Birkenhead Joint Railway. The connections to the WCML also provided a useful diversionary route for trains to Preston & beyond from both Manchester & Liverpool - these were utilised by British Rail when they set up a Motorail terminal at the station in the 1960s, which offered through trains to Stirling & Inverness and to St Austell.
The station avoided the Beeching Axe in the 1960s, though the Warrington to Wigan local trains along the WCML ended in 1969 along with services via Leigh. The Motorail terminal closed in the early 1980s as British Rail cut back the number of routes on offer across the network, though the sidings into it weren't finally removed until August 2013.
Merseytravel put forward proposals in December 2015 for the station to be developed as an interchange station. The proposals were later approved with the work scheduled to be completed by March 2018.
Work on the new facilities started on 28 November 2016 and included:
- New South side entrance
- New ticket office at south entrance
- Bus Interchange adjacent to the new ticket office
- 400+ space car park (including blue badge and wider spaces)
- Electric vehicle charging points
- New toilet facilities
- Improved passenger waiting facilities
- Step free access to and between the platforms via a new subway and lifts
- Increased cycle parking
- Dedicated drop off and pick up area
- Local highways improvements
Following some delays, the work was completed and the redeveloped station officially opened on Sunday 13 January 2019.
The line through the station was electrified by British Rail in 1973 as part of the West Coast Main Line electrification scheme, and the station was served by electrically hauled mail trains, but no regularly scheduled electric passenger trains called here. This finally changed over forty years later when the Liverpool to Manchester line via Chat Moss was electrified by Network Rail as part of the North West Electrification Programme. Commuter services which call at Newton-le-Willows have been operated by four car Class 319 electric multiple units since March 2015.
Like most Merseytravel stations, it is staffed from start of service until the last train has left (closing just before midnight each evening). There are also self-service ticket machines provided. There are shelters on both platforms, along with digital information screens and timetable poster boards.
The May 2018 timetable change has seen a major upgrade of services here. TransPennine Express now operate an hourly fast Liverpool to Newcastle via Manchester Victoria, Leeds and York that calls here (introduced as part of the new TPE franchise agreement), whilst Northern's service between Liverpool and Manchester Airport now runs to Crewe and calls at all intermediate stations between Liverpool and the Airport.. At peak times there is also a limited local service to Manchester Victoria and a single evening train to Wigan North Western via the Parkside West curve (a balancing service from there runs in the morning).
Transport for Wales also serves the station once per hour each way (with peak extras) on its Manchester Airport/Manchester Piccadilly to Chester and Llandudno route, though a few trains run to and from Holyhead (to connect with the ferry to Ireland).
On Sundays the service frequency remains the same on all routes, though TfW trains only run to and from Chester. East Midland Trains services between Liverpool and Nottingham/Norwich services sometimes call here if their usual route via Warrington Central is closed for engineering work, with Warrington-bound passengers changing here for a rail-replacement bus connection.
The new "Northern Connect" services from Chester to Leeds via Manchester Victoria and Bradford Interchange also stops at Newton-le-Willows following its introduction in May 2019. This runs hourly each way Mondays to Saturdays, with two trains running to/from Ellesmere Port rather than Chester at weekday peak times.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|Earlestown||Transport for Wales
Chester to Manchester Line
|Manchester Oxford Road|
|Liverpool Lime Street||TransPennine Express
Liverpool to Manchester Line
Line and station open
|London and North Western Railway||Lowton|
Line open, station closed
Line open, station closed
A Northern Class 156 waits at the station.
- https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/media/3373/listed-buildings-in-st-helens-with-maps-comp.pdf (p. 125, 126)
- Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1343248)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
- Donaghy, TJ (1972). Liverpool & Manchester Railway Operations 1831-1845. David & Charles, Newton Abbott
- The Lancashire CI Six-Inch OS Map for 1849 - http://maps.nls.uk/view/102344075 (bottom right-hand corner) - gives the N-le-W station name as "Newton Br. Station" - i.e. Newton Bridge
- Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. pp. 87, 171. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
- "Disused Stations - LowtonDisused Stations; Retrieved 30 March 2016
- "D1842 on the 08.55 Newton-le Willows to Stirling Motorail service in 1967"Railscot; Retrieved 30 March 2016
- "Devon Memories"Derby Sulzers; Retrieved 30 March 2016
- "Newton-Le-Willows train station: what will the new station look like?" Belger, Tom; Liverpool Echo new article 8 December 2015
- "Newton-Le-Willows train station to get new building, bus stop and car park" Belger, Tom, Liverpool Echo article 9 December 2015
- Newton-Le-Willows station facilities National Rail Enquiries
- TransPennine Express Franchise Improvements - DfT
- Table 90 National Rail timetable, May 2019
- Table 81 National Rail timetable, May 2019
- Northern Franchise Improvements - DfT
- Table 109 National Rail timetable, May 2019