CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

The East Lancashire Line (Preston to Colne)


The East Lancashire Line links Preston, the junction with the West Coast Main Line, with the market town of Colne, home of the annual Rhythm and Blues Festival, one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Preston is the administrative centre of Lancashire with a good range of shops, cafes, bars and pubs. Many events take place in the Guild Hall and Charter Theatre throughout the year. Preston can easily be reached from most parts of the UK and then it is a simple change onto the local train to Colne.

Passing through the suburbs of Preston you soon come to Bamber Bridge. The former 1846 station building has been faithfully restored and is now the base for the South Ribble Pensioners Association. Cherry Tree station is close to Witton Country Park the base for many outdoor activities throughout the year. Very soon the train arrives at the cathedral town of Blackburn where you will find the largest undercover market in the North West and an interesting museum and art gallery.

The line passes through Accrington, home of the famous Accrington Stanley football team and the Haworth Art Gallery with its collection of Tiffany glass then onto Burnley and its famous Weaver’s Triangle which is close to the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

We now approach Pendle with the new Interchange at Nelson and Colne the home of the annual Rhythm and Blues Festival.

The East Lancashire Line has a community rail partnership (the East Lancashire CRP) and has been granted designation by the Department for Transport under the Government’s Community Rail Strategy.

The East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership (ELCRP) has a joint management group with the Clitheroe Line Community Rail Partnership (CLCRP) and this meets every two months. The group consists of officers and representatives from Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, Ribble Valley Borough Council, Arriva Rail North, Network Rail and the British Transport Police . The group also has a representatives from each of the following; Ribble Valley Rail and the Friends of Pendle Stations.


The Department for Transport’s designation process requires that every community rail partnership (CRP) with a designated line and/or service maintains paperwork including a Route Prospectus, Terms of Reference, and an annual Action Plan, that is reviewed and amended as appropriate. Each CRP is also asked to produce an Annual Report of its activities. To view the paperwork for the East Lancashire CRP click the link. 


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