CRL - Community Rail Lancashire


Littleborough – is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, in Greater Manchester. It is located in the upper Roch Valley by the foothills of the South Pennines, 4.8 kilometres northeast of Rochdale and 20.3 kilometres north-northeast of Manchester.

Historically a part of Lancashire, Littleborough and its surroundings have provided evidence of Neolithic, Celtic, Roman and Anglo-Saxon activity in the area. By 1472, Littleborough consisted of a chapel, a cluster of cottages, and an inn, and its inhabitants were broadly farmers who were spurred to weave wool by merchants who passed between the markets at Rochdale and Halifax. When cotton was introduced as a base to make textiles, Littleborough experienced an influx of families, mostly from the neighbouring West Riding of Yorkshire. Affluent homes and estates were established on Littleborough’s fringes.


Places to Visit

Littleborough History Centre – opened in 2012 the centre on Platform 2 provides visitors with an insight to Littleborough’s history through photographs and archives. Open Saturdays 11:00 to 16:00.

Littleborough has a host of independent shops including an excellent second hand book shop:

George Kelsall Booksellers – selling and buying antiquarian and second hand books across abroad range of subjects including railway history.

Rochdale Canal – first opened in 1804 it was the first Trans-Pennine canal linking Leeds to Manchester and passes through the town.

Discover Amazing Women by Rail

Discover Amazing Women by Rail is a project initiated by the Mid Cheshire Line CRP and invites people to leave their car at home and use the train (along with buses and trams) to explore the fascinating, and often hidden, histories of women who lived and worked in areas along the Mid Cheshire and Calder Valley railway lines, including the Blackburn to Manchester via Todmorden route.

The project is supported with a website ( by an A5 booklet available from local stations, tourist information offices and libraries. The booklet can also be downloaded using this link: Amazing Women by Rail