Halton's train station is the last remaining station building on a former railway line that ran between Lancaster and Clapham. (Not to be confused with Halton Station in Cheshire) The original timber station building was opened by the 'Little' North Western Railway company in November 1849. Whilst the village residents and industry owners may have celebrated the arrival of the Iron Road, access was an issue. The River Lune separates Halton from it's railway station, and the single lane bridge at Denny Beck was operated as a toll bridge (owned by the railway!)
Tragedy struck in April 1907, when a spark from the engine of a passing train set fire to oil barrels alongside the station's goods shed. The fire took quickly and the fire brigade were unable to cross the narrow bridge over the river to tackle the blaze. Eventually a train load of railway workers was dispatched from Lancaster, and instructed to form a human chain, passing buckets of water up from the river. The original building was completely destroyed, however the station was rebuilt in a mixed brick and timber design.
The line between Morecambe and Wennington was eventually closed in January 1966, and Halton station along with it. The building was immediately purchased by Sir Harold Parkinson and donated to Lancaster University's Boating Club. Sir Harold was reputed to be a difficult man, and apparently was rather insistent that in exchange for their new boathouse, LUBC ought to strive to win the Roses Varsity race. To their credit the rowers from Lancaster University beat the team from York by 10 lengths! Hopefully this sound investment made Sir Harold a happy man.
The grade 2 listed station building is now better considered a boathouse. The ground floor of the station houses a fleet of rowing boats and other rowing equipment, while upstairs has been outfitted with showers, changing rooms and a kitchen. Unfortunately there was damage to the property due to flooding during storm Desmond in November 2015. Doors and shutters were damaged and some boats were destroyed.
These days the station is probably best known as a landmark along the Lune Valley Cycle Track, located about 2 miles out of Lancaster city centre toward Caton. The goods shed, station building and part of the platform remain intact, and a free car park has been established on the former track bed. Halton's train station is one of many quaint and unexpected elements which help to make the village so charming.
Visitors to Halton Station, passing cyclists and walkers alike should consider a trip over the iron bridge into the village proper. Halton boasts an excellent pub (The Greyhound) on the opposite bank to the Station, an adventure playground and skate park. There is also an Award Winning fish and chip shop on the High Road.
Halton Railway Station, Denny Beck Lane, Halton, Lancashire, LA2 9HQ