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In January 2020, my wife and I stayed, once again, to the Southeast of the City of Lancaster and explored the area between the Line estuary and the Wyre estuary. It is a superb area for watching overwintering birds!

It gave me another opportunity to look at railways in the area. After a visit in November 2019 when I explored the Glasson Dock branch, this time I took the chance to explore the railway which linked Knott End at the mouth of the River Wyre with the West Coast mainline near Garstang.

The first of two articles can be read by following the link below. ....

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2020/01/28/the-garstang-and-knott-end-railway-part-1

The area across the River Wyre from Fleetwood was, for many years, quite isolated. There was a ferry across the river to Fleetwood, which still operates in the 21st century, otherwise, narrow un-metalled roads had to suffice.

The local community, particularly those with agricultural interests, were determined to have a railway. The line was built between Garstang and Pilling by those local agricultural interests to develop unproductive land. It had been intended to continue to Knott End but the company ran out of money. It eventually opened between Garstang and Pilling in 1870.
 

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This is my second article about the line between Knott End and Garstang. It completes the full length of the line. I am very grateful to a number of people for permission given to publish their photographs as part of the article. You will see their pictures referenced throughout.

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2020/02/08/the-garstang-and-knott-end-railway-part-2/

I hope that I will get round to publishing one further article about the motive power and rolling stock on the line.

The featured image for this article is a Garstang & Knot End Railway cast iron Trespass Sign dated December 1899. GW Railwayana Auctions described it as "A Grade 1 cast iron sign that hasn't appeared for sale or publicly before and the most significant cast iron find of this century. The sign was acquired by the vendor in the 1960's and was from Cogie Hill Halt which was on the section between Pilling and Garstang Town which closed in July 1963. Nicely restored measures 24in x 15in." It sold in November 2019 for £3,800.

Pilling Station was the most westerly point on the Garstang and Knott End Railway from the completion of the first phase of its construction in 1870 until the eventual construction of the line through to Knott End in 1908. It was actually placed in the hamlet of Stakepool around a mile from Pilling itself.

As noted in the previous article about the line, locomotives had to cross into the road junction at the West end of the station site in order to run round their trains. The station site was approximately as drawn on the adapted OS Map extract.
 

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I love that you do this research. Fascinating subject.

I have tried to research the railroad presence in my home town. I have found some old maps of where the tracks ran, found some old roadbed years ago, and generally know where they ran, but in many cases there is not a trace left of the old lines and no one around that is old enough to remember them.

What's worse is that in some locales there are not even maps nor any history relating to where the old lines ran.
 

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Hi Michael

The first place that I start is usually with old maps. In the UK we are blessed by having the Ordnance Survey and a variety of sites which access their maps. The second place is usually Google Earth. Satellite maps often show detail of old railways through field boundaries and the like. There can be quite a few pictures on old postcards both here and in the rest of Europe. I don' t know what it is like in the US and Canada.

Best wishes

Roger
 
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