Since the closure of the original Skelmersdale railway station in 1956, the town has become the second most populous town in the North West Region (after Leigh, Greater Manchester) without a railway station. Currently the nearest railway station is Upholland station on the Wigan Wallgate to Kirkby branch line (historically part of the Liverpool and Bury Railway line.)
An initial feasibility study jointly funded by Merseytravel, Merseyrail, Lancashire County Council & West Lancs Borough Council looked at the possibility of reopening the line and building a new station in the town.
On 1st June 2015 Lancashire County Council approved the initiation of a more detailed evaluation. This option selection process will take the project to completing Network Rail’s GRIP Stage 3 level of development. The evaluation is to be developed in partnership with Network Rail and Merseytravel. Network Rail has suggested a construction date commencing in April 2021, with services beginning from December 2023. Once the single option development and detailed design stages in the GRIP process have been achieved. The likely route for the new link is southwards to join the Kirkby branch line between Upholland and Rainford rather than the original plans to go north via Ormskirk, so as to enable trains to travel to Wigan & Manchester as well as to Liverpool.
In February 2016 Lancashire County Council confirmed that the preferred site for Skelmersdale railway station was the former site of Glenburn Sports College/Westbank Campus. County Council Transport portfolio holder John Fillis said that the site “is big enough to provide a high quality station with scope to expand to meet future demand.
The full press release regarding the preferred site of the proposed Skelmersdale station can be downloaded on this link: Skelmersdale Preferred Site