CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

The Lines

West of Lancashire


‘Make a Beeline for the West Lancashire Line’ is a community marketing project, that combines the vital elements of education and wider group engagement with tourism attractions and professional marketing. Read about this project here: Make a Bee Line for the West Lancashire Line  

A brand new leaflet was launched on Monday 18th October 2021 at the start of Community Rail Week and this can be downloaded on this link: Make A Bee Line

A short video has also been made to highlight some of the attractions along the line and this can be viewed on this link:

There are two lines covering West Lancashire each with its own charm and places of interest:

Preston to Ormskirk

Leaving Preston on the West Coast Main Line the Ormskirk train soon heads off across the marshes for Croston. Croston is a delightful linear village with plenty of pubs and many interesting buildings. Next is Rufford with walks along the Rufford branch of the Leeds Liverpool Canal to Latham and Burscough, the developing canal marina complex with St. Mary’s Marina Boathouse Brasserie and Rufford Old Hall owned by the National Trust. At Burscough there is an easy walk to the new Burscough Bridge Interchange on the Wigan to Southport line. The train terminates at Ormskirk with connections into the frequent Merseyrail service to Liverpool. There is now a roughly hourly service on the line Monday to Saturday so it is possible to have a full day out.

Download the new Preston to Ormskirk & Sandhills line guide by clicking here.

(Manchester) Wigan to Southport

This is a busy commuter line connecting West Lancashire with Wigan, Bolton and Manchester. There are some major attractions along the line that can be easily reached by train and foot/bike or bus!

Martin Mere, the renowned wetland centre is very close to Burscough Bridge Interchange and a new footpath link connects the award winning interchange with the bird/nature reserve.

The service terminates at Southport, England’s classic resort with a wide range of shops, cafes, bars and entertainments to suit all tastes and ages. Take a stroll along the elegant Lord Street with its wide variety of shops or visit the pier which has had a major refurbishment and take the little train for a trip along it!

Download the new Southport to Wigan & Liverpool line guide by clicking here.

The West of Lancashire Community Rail Partnership (WoLCRP) has been awarded accreditation by the Department for Transport.

Accreditation is formal recognition by the Department for Transport that the partnership operates to a high standard and that its objectives and activities are supported by the Government. Further, the Government considers the partnership a good representative of the West of Lancashire Line’s communities.

The West of Lancashire Community Rail Partnership (WoLCRP) has a management group that meets quarterly. The group consists of officers and representatives from Lancashire County Council, West Lancashire Borough Council, Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, MerseyTravel, Transport for Greater Manchester, Northern Railways, Network Rail, the Community Rail Network and the British Transport Police . The group also has a representatives from the following: Ormskirk & Preston Travellers Association and the Friends of Burscough Stations.

The West of Lancashire Community Rail Partnership can be contacted by telephoning on 01254 386579 or by emailing and there is a Facebook page called Community Rail Lancashire and a Twitter feed @crl_live.

The West of Lancashire CRP encourages any feedback about our work, by contacting us via the email address above , or by post to the address below:

The West of Lancashire Community Rail Partnership
C/O Community Rail Lancashire
Accrington Station
Eagle Street

If you are still not satisfied then please contact the Chair of Community Rail Lancashire on or phone 07487 699341.


The Department for Transport’s accreditation process requires that every community rail partnership (CRP) that has been accredited maintains paperwork including a Route Prospectus, Terms of Reference, and an annual Action Plan, that is reviewed and amended as appropriate. Each CRP is also asked to produce an Annual Report of its activities. To view the paperwork for the West of Lancashire CRP click the link.


The West of Lancashire Line Guides mentioned above were developed by the West of Lancs CRP in partnership with Northern Rail, Merseyrail, Merseytravel & Sefton Council. The project also received a grant from the Designated Community Rail Development Fund, which is supported by the Department of Transport, Network Rail and ACoRP.



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