The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway opened a new route between Manchester Victoria and Wigan Wallgate on 1st October 1888. This diverged from the existing route via Bolton and Westhoughton at Pendlebury (effectively the modern Salford Crescent) and re-joined it at Crow Nest Junction near Hindley.
There were several stations for stopping trains, such as Swinton and Atherton. One of them, Daisy Hill is of interest here, being in Westhoughton. This is one of the town’s two stations which remains operational.
Daisy Hill was constructed by navvies, who used a number of small 0-4-0 industrial locomotives and steam cranes, as well as horses. They constructed the station and also the bridge on Leigh Road, which is still in use in 2021, but planned for replacement during this year.
Due to considerable housing development in the area, it is now a well-used commuter station and (according to official Strategic Rail Authority figures) has in the past vied (with Atherton and Walkden) for the position of the most used station on the line. In the period 2004 to 2012 passenger usage has more than doubled.
These days, we think of the whole of the line through Atherton as being double-track, with island platforms between the two. In fact, it was built as an express route from Manchester to Wigan with a pair of fast lines (without stations) to the south of the slow ones.