Thornton–Cleveleys railway station

Last updated

Thornton-Cleveleys railway station.png
The station around 1900, looking north
General information
Location Thornton, Wyre
Coordinates 53°52′14″N3°00′00″W / 53.8706°N 3.0000°W / 53.8706; -3.0000 Coordinates: 53°52′14″N3°00′00″W / 53.8706°N 3.0000°W / 53.8706; -3.0000
Grid reference SD343421
Other information
Original company Preston and Wyre Joint Railway
Pre-groupingPreston and Wyre Joint Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Key dates
April 1865 (1865-04)Station opened as Cleveleys
1 April 1905Renamed Thornton for Cleveleys
February 1953Renamed Thornton–Cleveleys
1 June 1970 (1970-06-01)Station closed
1999The last freight train passes through
July 2007Station leased to Poulton & Wyre Railway Society
28 February 2020 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the station and pledges to re-open the line [1] [2]
Location map United Kingdom Borough of Wyre.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Wyre Borough, Lancashire
Lancashire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Lancashire, England

Thornton–Cleveleys (originally simply named Cleveleys) was a railway station in England which served the Lancashire village of Thornton and town of Cleveleys. Located on the now disused line between Poulton-le-Fylde and Fleetwood, the station also had a shunting yard for the making-up of freight trains for Preston and beyond. During its life it was also known at times as Thornton station and Thornton for Cleveleys station. [3] [4] In the 1860s and early 1870s the line was of great importance, being the direct route from London to Glasgow. Before the Shap route was opened, passengers (allegedly including Queen Victoria) would travel from Euston to Fleetwood and then onwards via steamer to Scotland.


The original station was opened in April 1865, and was named Cleveleys. [5] It was to the south of Station Road in Thornton, near an older halt called Ramper Road. The Station Master's house and station building can still be seen in use as a private residence. The station was renamed Thornton for Cleveleys on 1 April 1905. [6] This station closed in 1927 when the new station (the first to be built by the LMS) opened to the north of the level crossing. In February 1953, the station was renamed again, this time to Thornton–Cleveleys. [7] Rationalised in the 1950s and 1960s, and affected by the ending of the ferry from Fleetwood to the Isle of Man, [8] the station eventually closed on 1 June 1970, when the Fleetwood line was closed to passengers. [7] [9] [10] Freight continued on the line to nearby Burn Naze until 1999. [8] [11]

Preservation undertaking

The station from Station Road Level Crossing as of 2014 Thornton-Cleveleys Station from Station Road Level Crossing 2014.JPG
The station from Station Road Level Crossing as of 2014

Today, the majority of the buildings at the station have long since been demolished, but the platforms remain, along with one of the original walls used to support the station's canopy and the bases for the waiting rooms on the up platform.

The site of the main station buildings and bus turning circle are now the site of a supermarket and small shops, narrowing the original down platform by a small amount. [12]

On 1 July 2007, the station was leased by Network Rail to the Poulton & Wyre Railway Society to allow the group of volunteers access to the site to return the station to a restored condition. [13]

Extensive improvements have occurred since the Poulton & Wyre Railway Society have been working on the station, [8] with the site cleared of vegetation and almost all the fences rebuilt in a traditional picket fence style; the society has also resurfaced the down platform.

In April 2013 the society was granted permission to extend their licence and begin work on the next station along the line towards Fleetwood, at Burn Naze. [14] A large hurdle was the section just short of Fleetwood that had been built over by the A585. An alternative route into Fleetwood was not obvious, at least in early 2020. [8]

On 28 February 2020, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made an unannounced visit to the station during the country's election campaign, and three months before the 50th anniversary of the last passengers arriving there. Johnson invited local councillor Brian Crawford onto the tracks for a private word. When Johnson asked what Crawford needed, he replied that £100,000 was necessary for an initial feasibility study. Johnson granted the request, and said he wanted the station to reopen before the next election, which was due in 2024. [8] The line was one of several chosen as part of a policy to "Reverse Beeching" (see Beeching cuts). [8]

The study, completed in 2021, found that the line could be reopened for heavy rail, to integrate with the national rail network. It confirmed it could also be used for ‘light’ rail, as an extension of the Blackpool Tram route, or as a cross system using vehicles which could operate on both heavy and light rail systems. [15]

The study also found that reopening the link would propose an 11-minute journey from Fleetwood to Poulton, and 28 minutes from Fleetwood to Preston. A journey which currently takes an hour by public transport.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Borough of Wyre</span> Borough in England

Wyre is a local government district with borough status in Lancashire, England. The population of the non-metropolitan district at the 2011 census was 107,749. The district borders the unitary authority area of Blackpool as well as the districts of Lancaster, Ribble Valley, Fylde and Preston. The council is based in Poulton-le-Fylde. The district is named after the River Wyre, which runs through the district.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Poulton-le-Fylde</span> Human settlement in England

Poulton-le-Fylde, commonly shortened to Poulton, is a market town in Lancashire, England, situated on the coastal plain called the Fylde. In the 2021 United Kingdom census, it had a population of 18,115.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fleetwood</span> Town in Lancashire, England

Fleetwood is a coastal town in the Borough of Wyre in Lancashire, England, at the northwest corner of the Fylde. It had a population of 25,939 at the 2011 census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cleveleys</span> Human settlement in England

Cleveleys is a town on the Fylde Coast of Lancashire, England, about 4 miles (6 km) north of Blackpool and 2 miles (3 km) south of Fleetwood. It is part of the Borough of Wyre. With its neighbouring settlement of Thornton, Cleveleys was part of the former urban district of Thornton-Cleveleys and is part of the Blackpool Urban Area. In 2011 the Cleveleys Built-up area sub division had a population of 10,754.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blackpool Tramway</span> Light rail transit system in Lancashire, England

The Blackpool Tramway runs from Blackpool to Fleetwood on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire, England. The line dates back to 1885 and is one of the oldest electric tramways in the world. It is operated by Blackpool Transport Services (BTS) and runs for 18 km. It carried 4.8 million passengers in 2019/20.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thornton, Lancashire</span> Human settlement in England

Thornton is a village in the Borough of Wyre, about 4 miles (6 km) north of Blackpool and 2 miles (3 km) south of Fleetwood. The civil parish of Thornton became an urban district in 1900, and was renamed Thornton-Cleveleys in 1927. In 2011 the Thornton built-up area sub division had a population of 18,941.

The Preston and Wyre Railway was promoted to open up agricultural land in the Fylde in Lancashire, access a new port at what became Fleetwood and the Lancaster Canal at Preston: it opened in 1840. An associated company built the dock leading to the company changing its name to the Preston and Wyre Railway, Harbour and Dock Company. Passenger business was more buoyant than expected, and the company built branch lines to the nascent resort of Blackpool and Lytham that opened in 1846. At that time the line was leased by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and later the London and North Western Railway took a share in the lease which was later converted to outright ownership. The Preston and Wyre Railway continued to be jointly owned as the Preston and Wyre Joint Railway.

Thornton-Cleveleys is a conurbation consisting of the village of Thornton and the town of Cleveleys. The two settlements formed a joint urban district from 1927 until 1974, before becoming part of Wyre. The two settlements constitute part of the Blackpool Urban Area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Poulton-le-Fylde railway station</span> Railway station in Lancashire, England

Poulton-le-Fylde railway station serves the town of Poulton-le-Fylde in Lancashire, England. It is managed by Northern Trains, but also served by Avanti West Coast and is 14+14 miles (22.9 km) northwest of Preston.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Layton railway station (England)</span> Railway station in Lancashire, England

Layton railway station is on the Blackpool North to Preston railway line, in Lancashire, England, serving the Blackpool suburbs of Layton and Bispham. It is managed by Northern and is unstaffed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blackpool North and Cleveleys (UK Parliament constituency)</span> UK Parliament constituency in England since 2010

Blackpool North and Cleveleys is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Paul Maynard, a Conservative.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blackpool branch lines</span> Railway lines in Lancashire, England

The Blackpool branch lines are two railway branch lines running from the West Coast Main Line at Preston to Blackpool: The main branch which is double track and electrified, runs to Blackpool North station via Poulton-le-Fylde. A second branch, which is single track and unelectrified, diverges from the main branch at Kirkham and Wesham junction, running on a southerly route to Blackpool South station via Lytham.

The Fleetwood branch line consists of the railway line from Preston to Fleetwood. It passed through many smaller stations along the way. When work at Fleetwood docks was under threat in the mid-1960s, the main Fleetwood station was closed; the remainder of the branch south to Poulton followed in 1970. Proposals exist to re-open the branch to passenger services in the near future.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Burn Naze Halt railway station</span> Former station in Thornton-Cleveleys, UK

Burn Naze Halt railway station served Burn Naze in Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire, England, between 1909 and 1970. The platforms were heavily overgrown with vegetation until recently when the Poulton & Wyre Railway Society began restoration work.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fleetwood railway station</span> Station in Lancashire, UK (1840–1966)

There have been three locations for Fleetwood railway station in Fleetwood, Lancashire, England. The first, from 1840 to 1883, was in Dock Street, opposite Church Street. The second, from 1883 to 1966, was in Queen's Terrace. From 1966 to 1970, the station previously known as Wyre Dock railway station was renamed "Fleetwood".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blackpool urban area</span> Built-up area in Lancashire, England

The Blackpool Built-up Area or Blackpool Urban Area is an urban area in Lancashire, England, consisting of the large town of Blackpool along with several surrounding towns and villages. Defined by the ONS it had a population of 239,409 in 2011 this is considerably down on the 2001 population of 261,088 mainly due to Fleetwood no longer being considered as part of the built-up area. The population of the Blackpool Urban Area has been declining for some time with the 2001 population down 0.1% from the 1991 figure of 261,355.

The Fylde is a coastal plain in western Lancashire, England. It is roughly a 13-mile-long (21-kilometre) square-shaped peninsula, bounded by Morecambe Bay to the north, the Ribble estuary to the south, the Irish Sea to the west, and the foot of the Bowland hills to the east which approximates to a section of the M6 motorway and West Coast Main Line.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wyre Dock railway station</span> Station in Fleetwood, UK (1885–1970)

Wyre Dock railway station served Fleetwood in Lancashire, England, from 1885 to 1970.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Skippool</span> Human settlement in England

Skippool is an area of Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire, England. It is situated between Little Thornton and Poulton-le-Fylde along the western banks of the River Wyre, about three miles south of its mouth between Fleetwood and Knott End. These banks are known as Skippool Creek, an historic docks area now home to mostly run-down vessels. The MV Good Hope, for example, may date from the 1830s. Skippool Creek is a short branch off Main Dyke, which empties into the River Wyre in front of Blackpool and Fleetwood Yacht Club.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Burn Naze</span> Pub in Lancashire, England

The Burn Naze was a public house in the English conurbation of Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire. Built in 1910, when it replaced the former Burn Naze Inn, it was one of the oldest pubs in the area by the time of its closure in 2019, and was listed as a community asset in 2021. It was demolished in 2022.


  1. Parkinson, Shelagh (18 November 2019). "Boris Johnson pledges to re-open Poulton and Fleetwood railway line". LancsLive.
  2. Faulkner, Paul (18 July 2021). "Boris Johnson urged to renew backing for Fleetwood railway restoration". Retrieved 2 January 2022.
  3. "Thornton History". Thornton Community News. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  4. "Public Facilities at Cleveleys". Visit Cleveleys. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  5. Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 63. ISBN   1-85260-508-1. R508.
  6. Butt 1995 , pp. 63, 229
  7. 1 2 Butt 1995 , p. 229
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "How Britain fell back in love with the railways" - Financial Times , 28 February 2020
  9. Welch, M.S. (2004) Lancashire Steam Finale, Runpast Publishing, Cheltenham, ISBN   1-870754-61-1, p.28
  10. Suggitt, G. (2003, revised 2004) Lost Railways of Lancashire, Countryside Books, Newbury, ISBN   1-85306-801-2, p.37
  11. "The Future of the Unused Poulton to Fleetwood Railway Line". The Wyre Rail Cycle Partnership. December 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  12. "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  13. Marshall, Tyrone (3 July 2007). "On track for rail link opening". Blackpool Citizen. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  14. "Freight train plan for Fleetwood". Fleetwood Weekly News. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  15. "Prime Minister urged to restore Fleetwood's rail links"Rail Technology Magazine, 19 July 2021
Maps showing
Thornton for Cleveleys Station
NPE Maps (1947)
Vision of Britain  
Other maps

53°52′14″N3°00′00″W / 53.8706°N 3.0000°W / 53.8706; -3.0000

Preceding station Disused railways Following station
Burn Naze Halt   Preston and Wyre
Joint Railway

Fleetwood Branch Line
  Preston and Wyre
Joint Railway

Blackpool Branch Line
  Poulton Curve Halt