Westhoughton acquired its station when the Liverpool to Bury line was opened on 20th November 1848. The line connected into the Bolton and Preston Railway at Lostock, which had opened on 18th June 1843.
Originally, there was as additional station at Chew Moor, but this only lasted until 1852.
As with most railways in this area, it was progressively merged into the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. This lasted until 1923, when all railways merged into the “Big Four”. The L&YR became part of the London Midland and Scottish (LMS). In 1948, all railways were nationalised into “British Railways”.
The line to Bury closed in the 1960s and the service through Westhoughton mainly turned into a service for commuters and visitors from Southport and Wigan to Manchester Victoria. The Castlefield link was opened in the 1980s, connecting the new station at Salford Crescent to Deansgate, allowing trains to run through to Oxford Road, Manchester Piccadilly and later, Manchester Airport.
These days, we are indebted to the wonderful “Friends of Westhoughton Station”, who have created the beautiful gardens and appealing statues and animals which grace the station and delight passengers.
The road bridge on Church Street continues to the present day. Access to the Bolton-bound platform was via staircase in the two-storey station building. This building was demolished in 1974, and access became a simple ramp down from the road.
The building on the Wigan-bound platform was a more modest, single storey.