Friends of Littleborough Stations

Newsletter - November 2017


To the second FOLS newsletter of 2017.  In 2018, we aim to publish in March, July and November and will distribute to members, as well as posting copies in local shops and notice boards on the stations

Christmas at Littleborough Station

FOLS & LHAS are hosting a Christmas Social in the History Centre at Littleborough Station from 11am to 2pm on Sunday 10th December – coinciding with the LEAF Farmers Market.  There will be a Christmas in Littleborough theme to the displays in the History Centre and refreshments will be served

Northern will be providing lucky bags for any children who come along and have donated a family rail ticket for the raffle.  We will be selling raffle tickets on the day and are gathering other prizes.  We will have both Littleborough & Smithy Bridge Station fridge magnets for sale at only £2 each … they will make great stocking fillers!  Come along to find out more about FOLS and enjoy light refreshments in the wonderful History Centre

Ticket Vending Machines

Ticket vending machines are being gradually installed along the Calder Valley line.  Littleborough Station's new machine is about to be installed, with Smithy Bridge set to follow in a second tranche. These card-only machines are an improved design with an adjustable screen for wheelchair bound passengers

Todmorden Curve

Why not use the Todmorden Curve for a trip to Burnley, Accrington or Blackburn?  The journey beyond the "Tod Curve" has some spectacular scenery as the train winds its way through Cornholme and Cliviger towards Burnley. All three towns have busy markets and interesting museums and art galleries. There is an hourly service from Smithy Bridge and Littleborough.  Connections to Preston and Blackpool can be made from these Lancashire stations without having to travel through Manchester.  Give it a try!

Train Services

Please be patient about improvements in the train services on the Calder Valley line.  The new (white and blue) refurbished carriages are already in use and passengers will have seen the vast difference between these and the old Pacers!  With the building of the Ordsall Chord in Manchester, there will be through services to Manchester Oxford Road, Piccadilly and the Airport from the Calder Valley in the near future. These major changes in the timetable will be in May 2018

Rail Safety

Please be aware that fast trains go through "our" stations without stopping and passengers should ensure that they stand well back from the edge of the platform.  This is particularly important for passengers with small children who are standing up, or in buggies.  In wet and cold weather, please be careful for puddles or slippery surfaces – which need to be reported to Northern if they are a persistent problem

Cars - and pedestrians - using the level crossing at Smithy Bridge should NOT attempt to rush across once the red lights start flashing, to try and "beat" the gates coming down.  It is not only extremely dangerous, but selfish and thoughtless. We are aware that the level crossing gates at Smithy Bridge are causing more - and longer - hold-ups … but more trains are using the Calder Valley, especially freight, which helps to ensure longevity of the line

Passenger Surveys

Members of the station friends group will be carrying out passenger surveys this autumn, as part of an attempt to obtain a true picture of rail use along the Calder Valley between Littleborough and Manchester. Other station Friends groups and the rail user group, STORM, will also be taking part in this.  In particular, we are keen to calculate just how many concessionary pass holders use the trains at off-peak times

Northern Mobile App

This can be downloaded for free from Google Play as an Android App on your smart phone or through the Apple App Store (iOS). You can plan and buy tickets for any train journey, view information for any train service and report faults on a Northern station or service. There are no booking fees or credit card fees

Your Comments

Please let Northern know if you have a complaint or a fault to report; at the same time feel free to give positive feedback or suggestions about the train services.  This can be done through the mobile App; using a freepost Your Comments leaflet (from ticket offices); emailing; telephoning the free number 0800 200 6060 or writing a letter to “Freepost Northern Railway”.  Northern’s Twitter address is @northernassist and Facebook is /northernassist

Any of these will take you only a few minutes to do.  So rather than moaning about a crowded, cold or delayed train, please report it! This is the ONLY way that our rail service will improve! At the same time, a word or two of praise (if deserved) is also important

Contact FOLS

You can contact FOLS by email to  Check out our website at for more information about the Friends, our work and our programme of open meetings in 2018

Come along to our open meetings and find out more about the work we are doing to support our stations

Contact Information

Friends of Littleborough Stations

Meeting times

The Friends of Littleborough Stations (FoLS) meets quarterly at The History Centre accessed via the Leeds platform at Littleborough Station.  See the Meetings page on our website for meeting dates.

FoLS members also meet up at regular intervals to undertake works to both Littleborough and Smithy Bridge Stations, as well as participating in the train company's annual Santa Specia to/from Manchester Victoria