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1878 St Helens Road - 1885 Railway

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1878 St Helens Road


By 1878 all turnpikes had been discontinued by Act of Parliament. The Bolton and St Helens Turnpike became the responsibility of the local council and was renamed St Helens Road.



<<<< 1950s Trolley bus at Howell Croft South about to come "up Dobble" on its way to Leigh. (Clip from Bolton Evening News)

Derby Street, looking towards St Helens Road, 1956

Derby Street becomes St Helens Road at Willows Lane, the street on the left between the Railway Hotel and "Handy House".


Old post card of c1905 put on Google Earth by Mel Travers.


1885 The Railway rerouted

The railway entered a deep cutting and went under St Helens Road, a station being built in the NW corner of the road junction of St Helens Road and Deane Church Lane with steps from either side to reach the two platforms.


When the new line was opened, the old line was retained from the diversion north of the station (west of Deane Church Lane), under Deane Church Lane (marked as Daub Hill Bridge on the 1849 map) as far as Adelaide Street and it delivered to a huge coal yard (picture below) just off St Helens Road, below Jubilee Street, where ASDA (previously Netto) is now. Then, across the level crossing it delivered to a couple of other coal merchants and presumably also supplied the mill itself. It would be almost certain that their supplies of raw cotton would continue to come in this way too.

The need to haul trains up the 1 in 33 gradient to Adelaide street by cable and stationary winch was hardly satisfactory and so a new route behind Sunnyside Mills was planned which went all the way into Bolton with much less gradient. The final decision to create this line may have been hastened by "runaway trains" losing control on the incline and crashing into the coal yards in town. On 28th January 1858 an engine lost control on this gradient and crashed through the buffers at Great Moor Street station causing substantial damage. By the time the new railway was opened new locos were strong enough to get up the incline without the rope and in fact the most serious runaway train incident was later and on the new line. The new line still had a gradient of 1 in 34 but for a much shorter distance than the original 1 in 33 “inclined plane”.

Ticket from the collection of Steven John Parker


Used with permission.

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1949 Daubhill Station and Deane Church Lane,

posted on Facebook - "I belong to Bolton" by Andrew Hodson

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The steps from the crossing up to the top of Daub Hill. Demolition of houses on the Hill has just started in 1969. This picture was posted on facebook by Edward Thompson.


The old (1828) line of the railway is immediately to the left of this picture.

The Daubhill Crossing in the 1950s and about five years ago. The building is still the same (2017) but the dentist has been replaced by other tenants.


The new line ran behind the Sunnyside Mills and under a bridge near the lowest point of Ellesmere Road. The line had run out of the cutting before reaching Ellesmere Road which at that point was at the same level as the railway so long inclines were needed for the road. Under a bridge at Higher Swan Lane immediately north of Settle Street and to the lower half of High Street where it entered a tunnel under the Robert Heywood Park emerging near Shaw Street. Then another bridge under Fletcher Street just behind the Atlas Forge (Work-house Bridge) and a curve round to go over Crook Street and alongside Blackhorse Street into Great Moor Street Station.


Daubhill station closed 3rd March 1952 though the line remained in use for regular passenger services until 1954, for some holiday services until 1958 and for goods until 29.3.65.

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<<Current state of the line from Daubhill Crossing towards Daubhill Bridge (Deane Church Lane). By 2016 it has been tidied up as Manor house lays out its car park.



The line in use, 23 March 1965, picture by (C) H J Scowcroft. This was a regular delivery of coal to Sunnyside Mills   >>>>>>

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The realigned (1885) double track railway. Top left on the S bend is the junction of the original line and the new line. Then the St Helen's Road bridge where Daubhill Station was. There is a bridge which didn't really go anywhere then clearly Ellesmere Road bridge with its long inclines either side. Behind Ellesmere Road on the left are the hen pens down from Woodbine Road (the originally built part from Morris Green Lane). Behind it on the right you see Dove Mill in the distance and closer the huge Sunnyside Mills complex and at the bottom of the incline is the Sunnyside Hotel, now a residential home. In the foreground is Sunnyside Park and the Townson site with Higher Swan Lane running across the bottom.

Ellesmere Road bridge at the bottom with Townson's to the right of the railway. The picture on the left looks away from town towards Daubhill and the above picture is looking towards Bolton.

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Looking south east (away from Daubhill) towards the Ellesmere Road Bridge. Sunnyside Hotel, Swan Lane Spinning Mill, Townson’s are all visible.  


(C)1966 H J Scowcroft.

Ellesmere Road bridge on the Bolton side.

Visible are Rutland Mills, Sunnyside Hotel and Swan Lane Mill


Posted on Facebook by Edward Thompson.

d6247 Ellesmere Rd, William Townson, to Woodbine R d6248 215.56 bridge behind TBL, down Woodbine Road

Apologies to the initiator of this picture, I do not seem to have a note of who you are.


A fantastic blast from the past for any Dobble-ites who used to play on this waste land between Woodbine Road, the railway and Nixon Road.


Front left, the hen pens, then the railway bridge that was never a real route and whose surface was just rough rocks. The new telephone (BT) building can be seen at the left. Then Sunnyside Mills. Swan Lane Mills and the Rutland Mills building are at right with the Sunnyside pub and Ellesmere Road just off picture. Behind and to the right was Lomax's football field though by this time it was probably occupied by Evans waste paper.

Here we are looking from above Townson's, from the Bolton side of Ellesmere Road bridge towards Daubhill Station. The empty are to the left with apparently two roads running across it had been Lomax's football ground then Evan's waste paper. The bridge that was never taken into use is 2/3 the way up on the right and the bridge at Daubhill Station is just visible with Woodbine Road to the left of it.

There is a video of this at www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k8oSKQvXqM Steam World Archive Volume 24. Daubhill Crossing is after 1minute 11 seconds

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<<< Coal was also delivered to the coal yard just off the original Bolton-Leigh railway at Daubhill. The Netto supermarket was built on this site. It later became ASDA. (A poor copy of this picture has been around for some time. This copy from a book "Baseboard Basics and Making Tracks" Volume One in The Building of Platt Lane series 1993. Baseboard Basics and Making Tracks (The Silver Link Library of Railway Modelling) posted on Facebook by Michael  Delamar.)




The coal yard after clearing. The Yard manager's house (in the centre of the picture) was kept and still remains.


Picture by Gene Watts


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1 From Bolton EveningNews, probably 1950




2 Picture from Steve Buckley, 1952




3 Demolition took place soon after closure of the station 3 March 1952 but the line continued for regular passenger services until 1954, for some holiday services until 1958 and for goods until 29.3.65.



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Signal box behind Daubhill Station, 1952. The narrow track going forward is the original route into Bolton going to the Daubhill level crossing then to Sunnyside Mills, tower and chimney visible, and stopping at Adelaide Street. The curve to the right goes under St Helens Road at the station and then follows the new (1885) route into Bolton.

Picture by Darren Clayton 1965


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<<< This picture from book "Baseboard Basics and Making Tracks" Volume One in The Building of Platt Lane series

1993. Baseboard Basics and Making Tracks (The Silver Link Library of Railway Modelling)

posted on Facebook by Michael Delamar.

d6260 Daubhill railway line July 1972 - Copy

July 1972 - Picture from Bolton News - Bert Street - Collapsed wall is a danger giving access for children to the steep embankment.


The terrace of houses towards the right seen at an oblique angle is Jubilee Street. The bridge is named "Daubhill Bridge" and carries Deane Church Lane over the original (1828) Bolton to Leigh railway. The more recent alignment of the railway (1885) which went to Daubhill Station and under St Helens Road, still in use until c1965 is closer to us. A bank of earth separates the lines.


It is not possible to get a comparison picture today because buildings on what was Manfredi's ice cream factory and is now Deen (sic) Islamic Educational Centre.


The coal yard was immediately over the wall on the left. Where Lloyd finance is became the entrance to the Netto supermarket (later ASDA).