A Railway to Lytham
Newspaper report from the 1930s about the Preston & Wyre Railway and
the Blackpool & Lytham Railway.
THE RAILWAY COMES TO LYTHAM
LYTHAM BEFORE BLACKPOOL
Railway Enterprise Leads to Big Developments
on the Fylde Coast.
The coming of the railway to the Fylde coast was the prelude to
an amazing era of development which has continued almost without abating ever
Strangely enough, it was to Fleetwood that the railway was first opened, writes "
Fyldean " in the " Gazette & Herald." This was in 1840, only four years after
the birth of the town, and following this building proceeded with rapid strides. We
are told that the town had assumed considerable proportions a year later.
In 1846, it is stated, the traffic, both in passengers and goods, had increased so
rapidly that the directors determined to have a double line without delay.
The year 1846 was a particularly memorable one in railway history in the Fylde, for
it witnessed the opening of the railway both to Lytham and Blackpool. Previously
passengers to Lytham had to complete the journey from Kirkham by carriage, and
those to Blackpool were compelled to get out at Poulton, and complete the journey
Lytham had the distinction of possessing the railway before
Blackpool, for it was on February 16th, 1846, that the branch line connecting the
town with the Preston and Wyre Railway was formally opened, the return journey
being performed in fifteen minutes. As in the case of Blackpool and Fleetwood the
opening of the railway gave a great impetus to the building trade of Lytham.
But although Blackpool has far outstripped Fleetwood in the race
of progress, Fleetwood can still pride itself on the fact that railway excursions
were run there before a train had ever steamed into Blackpool. For in 1844, two
years before either Blackpool or Lytham had the railway, the Preston and Wyre
Railway Company, in conjunction with the line from Manchester and Bolton, began to
run excursions—and Sunday excursions. mark you—to Fleetwood at reduced fares during
the summer. In August alone upwards of 10,000 visitors were estimated to have been
brought to the town on these trips.
These lines, says Porter, were among the first to try the
experiment of cheap trains, and the immense success which attended their efforts
soon induced them to extend the privileges to other days besides the Sabbath.
Promoters of private excursions were also offered special inducements to visit
Fleetwood, and during the summer of 1844, it is said, no fewer than 60,000 day
excursionists and staying visitors arrived in Fleetwood.