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Along the Whiston Incline - Rainhill Skew Bridge and Station

RAINHILL Skew Bridge and Station

This is at the top of the Whiston Incline by Stoney Lane bridge. The cutting here was widened to accommodate sidings where assisting locomotives could be detached from ascending trains and added to those descending the incline.

Originally, it was thought that steam locomotives would not be able to climb the incline without the assistance of rope haulage and work began on the construction of a line-side winding engine. The success of the Rocket at the Rainhill Trials eliminated the need for this winding engine and another that was planned at Sutton, so they were never completed.

This is the base just over Stoney Lane bridge.


Rainhill Skew Bridge, a Grade II listed structure, is the most acute of 15 such bridges on the line, built at an angle of 34 degrees to the railway. Work on the construction began towards the edge of 1828. A full-size model was set up in an adjacent field and stone blocks, some weighing over two tons, were cut, dressed and numbered in advance, each being individually shaped to fit its exact position.


The bridge was then constructed and the Warrington to Prescot Turnpike (now the A57), raised by inclined embankments, to pass over it. An inscription carved below the parapet on the eastern side, records the date of completion – June 1829.

 The inscription in the bridge naming the Chairman of the railway and the resident engineer. 

Photo by Terry Callaghan. (21st February 2013) of the 8D Association.


The famous Skew bridge at the west end of the station.

Photo by Terry Callaghan. (21st February 2013) of the 8D Association.


 Rainhill Station is a grade II listed building. It is one of the oldest stations in the world, opening a year after the Trials in 1830. The first record of substantial buildings at Rainhill were mentioned in a Board instruction to erect "a large waiting room" in 1841, although the present building is much more than that. Under the amalgamation of 1846, the LMR and the Grand Junction Railway became part of the LNWR's Northern Division, with the station design at Rainhill closely aligned to GJR practice. The long, two-storey hipped-roof building has a pitched wrap-round canopy supported by arcades of segmental open cast-iron beams and highly decorated brackets between wooden posts. The building is formed from brick, with fluted stone door and window casing giving a delicate touch. It has a latticed iron footbridge and a standard wooden LNWR signal box on a brick base (1899)

Rainhill Station







 This is a public footbridge taking pedestrians over the railway line, outside of the station.