Heath Charnock Parish Council

The Bolton to Preston railway opened from Bolton to Heath Charnock in February 1841, terminating at a station known as Rawlinson Bridge. The next section to Chorley opened in December 1841, when Rawlinson Bridge closed, and it was fully opened in 1843. This line is still open, with the nearest stations to Heath Charnock in Adlington and Chorley.

A second railway from Wigan to Blackburn opened in December 1869. This closed to passengers in 1960, and to goods in 1971. It joined the Bolton and Preston line near the Adlington Heath Charnock border, diverging to Blackburn after Chorley station. It had a separate station in Adlington called White Bear, with stations at Red Rock and Boars Head between Adlington and Wigan.

A branch of this railway served Ellerbeck colliery, and, just to the north of canal bridge 71 at Rawlinson Lane, the remains of the bridge can be seen where it crossed the canal. The boatyard at this point was where coal was originally transferred from rail to barges, and a facility for this purpose is still visible. Ellerbeck colliery closed temporarily in 1932, and it is thought that rail traffic on the branch ceased at that time. When the colliery reopened in 1933, traffic went by road. The branch was dismantled by 1937. The branch also served Duxbury Park colliery, which closed in December 1917.

History - Railways