|Location||Wigan, Metropolitan Borough of Wigan|
|Managed by||Avanti West Coast|
|Transit authority||Greater Manchester|
|Platforms||6 (5 in use)|
|Fare zone||Greater Manchester Rail Zone 3|
|Classification||DfT category B|
|Original company||North Union Railway|
|Pre-grouping||London and North Western Railway|
|Post-grouping||London, Midland and Scottish Railway|
|31 October 1838||Opened as Wigan|
|2 June 1924||Renamed Wigan North Western|
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road
Wigan North Western railway station is one of two railway stations serving the town centre of Wigan, Greater Manchester, England.
It is a moderately-sized station on the West Coast Main Line. It is operated by Avanti West Coast, and is also served by Northern Trains.
Wigan's other station is Wigan Wallgate, which is about 110 yards (100 m) away, on the opposite side of the street named Wallgate, for services to Manchester (Victoria, Deansgate, Oxford Road & Piccadilly), Southport and Kirkby. Both stations are centrally located on the southern fringe of Wigan town centre. The station is named North Western, not because of its location but because it formerly belonged to the London and North Western Railway. The drop in usage figures for Wigan North Western in 2006/07 was due to the adjustment of the allocation between the town's two stations. In 2009 North Western station was identified as one of the ten worst category B interchange stations for mystery shopper assessment of fabric and environment and was set to receive a share of £50m funding for improvements.
The station was rebuilt in the early 1970s to a contemporary functional style (see picture, right). The tracks are on a viaduct above street level and access to the platforms is via a subway tunnel.
The platforms have heated waiting rooms. The British Transport Police have an office on platform 4 near the station's cafe.
The station is served currently by Avanti West Coast. There is an hourly service on the West Coast Main Line from London Euston, which continues northwards to Glasgow Central, with additional peak services terminating at Preston, Lancaster and Carlisle. The journey time from London is less than two hours (1 hour and 55 minutes). There is also an hourly service in the opposite direction calling at Warrington Bank Quay and London Euston. It is also served by Avanti West Coast's services from London Euston via Birmingham New Street to Blackpool North and Edinburgh (alternate hours). The single London Midland service from Birmingham New Street to Preston that used to call in the evening was withdrawn at the end of the 2007-8 timetable.
With completion of the first stage of the North West electrification programme, most TransPennine Express services between Manchester and Scotland were re-routed via Wigan instead of Bolton by connecting with the West Coast Main Line near Newton-le-Willows. TransPennine Express now operates services between Manchester Airport and Scotland. These services no longer call at Wigan North Western and have been re-routed via Bolton now that the line is electrified (work finally being completed in early 2019 ahead of the spring timetable update).
Northern Trains operates a half-hourly service from Liverpool Lime Street, along the Liverpool-Wigan Line via St Helens Central with a handful of services running to Liverpool via the Lowton Chord and Newton-le-Willows. There is also an hourly service from Liverpool which continues north along the West Coast Main Line to Blackpool North. Northern also operated one electric hourly service per hour each way between Blackpool North and Manchester Airport between May 2018 & May 2019. Since May 2019, this has been replaced by an hourly diesel service between the Airport and Preston, with most trains continuing on to either Barrow-in-Furness or Windermere. These are mainly operated by new Class 195 Civity units, whilst the electric variants (Class 331s) have started to appear on Liverpool services since the summer of 2019.
Northern Trains services are operated by a mix of Pacer and Sprinter units on the line to Bolton and Manchester. Since the May 2018 timetable change, there are now two trains per hour to/from Bolton - one to Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge, the other to Manchester Piccadilly and thence Alderley Edge via Stockport. These run on weekdays only - weekend trains were replaced by buses until November 2018 due to ongoing electrification work on the Manchester to Preston Line through Bolton and Salford Crescent. From the December 2019 timetable change, most weekday services to/from Manchester via Hindley reverted to their previous route via Wallgate, with just a few trains starting or finishing here in the morning and both peak periods (though a Sunday service via Westhoughton and Bolton to Manchester Victoria remains). From December 2020 however, the hourly service from Leeds now starts & finishes here once more throughout the day (save for a few peak period services).
From the timetable change on 17 May 2015, Northern Rail introduced Class 319 electric services to Liverpool and Manchester, Avanti West Coast services southwards to London Euston and northwards to Glasgow are always operated by electric Class 390 Pendolino trains. Services southwards to London Euston via Birmingham New Street and northwards to Glasgow and Edinburgh are operated by either electric Pendolino trains or diesel Class 221 Super Voyager units.
Under HS2 and government proposals' high-speed trains would stop at the station from Glasgow before joining the new HS2 line south of Wigan to Birmingham and London.
Service proposals include an additional hourly fast train to Liverpool Lime Street and two new hourly fast services between Wigan and Manchester via parts of the WCML and Manchester–Liverpool line.
|3 September 1832||The Wigan Branch Railway opened between the Liverpool and Manchester Railway at Parkside Junction (in Newton-le-Willows) and Wigan. The original station in Wigan was located close to Chapel Lane, and three trains per day were provided, connecting with the Liverpool and Manchester trains at Parkside.|
|31 October 1838||The North Union Railway opened between Wigan and Preston and connected with the line from Parkside.|
Wigan station was relocated to its present position.
|1846||The London and North Western Railway was formed as a result of the progressive amalgamation of various earlier lines, including the Grand Junction Railway. In collaboration with the Caledonian Railway, through trains were introduced between London Euston and Glasgow.|
|2 August 1873||A major accident occurred at the station. An overnight express from London to Scotland derailed while passing through the station at high speed. 13 people died and 30 were badly injured. The subsequent inquiry into the accident resulted in the introduction of facing point locks to passenger-carrying lines throughout the UK.|
|1888–1894||The station was substantially enlarged. The London and North Western Railway's Manchester and Wigan Railway connected with the North Union Railway at Springs Branch, and services to Manchester Exchange via Tyldesley which began in September 1864, terminated at the enlarged station. This line closed in 1969.|
|2 June 1924||Renamed from "Wigan" to "Wigan North Western".|
|July 1972||During 1971 and 1972, the run-down Victorian-era station buildings were demolished and the track layout re-modelled as a prelude to electrification. The re-built station was officially opened in July 1972.|
|1 October 1972||All signalling through Wigan North Western and adjacent sections of the West Coast main line came under the control of the new Warrington Power Signal Box. |
Two large signal boxes were closed - Wigan No.1 and Wigan No.2, which had controlled train movements at the south and north ends of station respectively.
|23 July 1973||Electric train services began between London Euston and Preston, via Wigan North Western|
Express trains, formerly hauled by one or two Class 50 diesels, were now powered by Class 86 or new Class 87 electrics.
|6 May 1974||The West Coast electrification project was complete and electric trains operated through to Glasgow by British Rail.|
Being located on the West Coast Main Line, Wigan North Western has retained regular trains to a wide range of destinations. However, there were several local passenger services from the station which fell under the Beeching Axe and earlier, and the lines have since been closed:
|Balshaw Lane & Euxton||Newton-le-Willows|
|Preston||Warrington Bank Quay|
There are proposals to re-open some of the closed local stations (e.g. Golborne), but none has been approved as of 2018.
Main article: Wigan Central railway station
Wigan had a third station: Wigan Central which has been demolished.
Wigan Central was located in Station Road, still in the town centre but some way away from the two main stations (at North Western and Wallgate). It was a terminal station on the branch line to Glazebrook and on to Manchester Central.
Wigan Central was opened by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (later to become the Great Central) in October 1892 and was closed to passengers in November 1964.