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Described as being “tucked up a winding valley on the fringe of the moors” Bacup was the end of the line when it came to the Bacup branch line, which opened to Bacup on the 1st October 1852. A few days earlier the local newspaper announced:  It is expected that the line of railway from Newchurch to Bacup will open shortly for traffic in a few days. Already the services of the greater portion of the navvies employed on the work have been dispensed with, and the inhabitants of the district do not regret the departure of these rough colonists, who in their occasional bacchanalian hilarity disturbed the peace and alarmed the quiet inhabitants of the district”. A fare of tuppence was charged on the day of opening which meant a great many people travelled along the line which was described as “a most romantic one”. It was recorded that four hundred persons travelled from Newchurch ( Waterfoot )  to Bacup and back two days later on Sunday 3rd October. Several months followed before goods trains began running through to Bacup, this taking place in February 1853. By 1865, it had become apparent that the single line was just not enough. Commercial travellers complained that Bacup was just a terminus and that they could not continue on to other places such as Rochdale, Burnley or Todmorden from Bacup to continue their business without having to go back on themselves. They argued it was quicker to walk over the hills to get to these places and cheaper, as at this time the fare to Manchester was 1s 10d. Therefore, it was decided to add an additional line from Waterfoot to Bacup and to open another line from Bacup to Rochdale. By March 1878, the company of Messrs Dransfield and Thompson had won the contract to install a second track from Waterfoot to Bacup which of course meant the need to excavate another tunnel at the Thrutch and at Stubbylee. The line opened in March 1880 with travel from Bacup to Bury taking approximately 32 to 34 minutes and a minute or two longer was added for journeys from Bury to Bacup to compensate for the gradients. Trains made a shorter trip to Ramsbottom every evening, returning at 6.37pm.There was also a through train from Bolton to Bacup each day, leaving Bolton at 9.00 am and due into Bacup at 9.48 am,travelling via Radcliffe but, with no corresponding service in the reverse direction. On Sundays there were four steam trains in each direction; Bacup, Bury through to Manchester and Manchester, Bury through to Bacup. The new line from Facit to Bacup opened on 1st December 1881, at which time Britannia Station was described in the Rochdale Observer as “Almost a perfect model of the new station at Bacup, a porch over the door at road level led to the booking offices, and then a wide flight of steps with a rail running down the centre leads to the two platforms which are considerably below the level of the road. The whole of the waiting rooms and platforms are roofed with timber and glass, and the waiting rooms are in blocks down the centre between the platforms which forma a fork towards Rochdale, nearly under a bridge which crosses the line. At the fork, the two lines are separated, one running alongside one side of the platform and the other along the other side. The centre between the platforms is paved with tiles ornamented with a diamond pattern. The waiting rooms are of wood and glass, very light and elegant. The ladies waiting rooms are quite separate from the others”. Britannia station closed on the 2nd April 1917, as an economy measure, but passenger trains carried on running on the line until 16th June 1947. Remains of the stairs and platform were still visible in April 1962. At the time of its threatened closure in April 1963, Bacup station was dealing with over 4,000 passengers per month as well as the same in parcels and over 3,000 fares per month of pupils going to and from Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School. The station master, Mr L Metcalfe had a staff of 25 including signalmen working under him at Bacup and Stacksteads stations. It would take a further three years and a public enquiry before the news broke in September 1966 that Bacup station would be one of six to close. For months beforehand, the Town Council had urged the Government not to close the station suggesting economies that could be made in order to save it,all to no avail with the final train leaving Bacup on December 3rd 1966.
Bacup Loco Shed 1930 Entrance to Bacup Station from Rockliffe Rd Bacup Station 1956 View when leaving Bacup Station Britannia Station