Bolton Interchange 

Bolton Interchange National Rail
Bolton Interchange
View of platforms 1-4 (right to left) looking northwards
Place Bolton
Local authority Bolton (borough)
Coordinates 53°34′23″N 2°25′30″W
Grid reference SD719086
Station code BON
Managed by Northern Rail
Number of platforms 4
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  1.868 million
2005/06 Increase 1.930 million
2006/07 Increase 1.952 million
2007/08 Increase 2.098 million
2008/09 Increase 2.771 million
2009/10 Increase 2.834 million
2010/11 Increase 3.059 million
2011/12 Increase 3.259 million
2012/13 Increase 3.583 million
Key dates Opened 1838 (1838)
Bolton Interchange is a transport interchange combining the railway station and a four stand bus station in the town of Bolton in Greater Manchester, England.

The station is located on the Manchester spur of the West Coast Main Line and is managed by Northern Rail.

The station is 11 1⁄4 miles (18.1 km) north west of Manchester Piccadilly.

The station was originally named Bolton Trinity Street to differentiate it from nearby Bolton Great Moor Street station which closed in 1954.

The station was also known as "Bridgeman Street Station" and "Bradford Square Station".

The entrance and ticket office are at street level, at which there is a bus interchange and taxi rank.

A walkway leads to the platforms which are in a cutting.

The main island platform has a buffet.

The original main station building was demolished in the 1980s, but the Victorian buildings survive on the platforms.

The clock tower was dismantled and rebuilt next to the new station.

The station is on the Ribble Valley Line, a local line running north to Blackburn and Clitheroe.

There are services used by commuters from Wigan Wallgate and on the Manchester-Preston Line.

Recent timetables provide a convenient connection (although a platform change must be made which is not possible for wheelchair users) at Hindley (Wigan, Kirkby and Southport bound trains from Bolton) for certain stations on the Atherton line ( Daisy Hill, Hag Fold, Atherton and Walkden).


Trinity Street station opened when the Manchester and Bolton Railway completed its route to Salford Central in 1838. The line extended to Manchester Victoria in 1843.

This line was extended to Preston by the Bolton and Preston Railway in 1841.

The route northwards, now the Ribble Valley Line, to Blackburn followed four years later, whilst the Liverpool and Bury Railway's arrival in 1848 gave the town links eastward to Bury & Rochdale and westwards to Wigan & Liverpool.

These lines had all become part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway system by 1858.

The network of routes radiating from here has remained largely unchanged to this day, the one exception being the line to Rochdale which closed on 5 October 1970.

Through trains to Liverpool ended in 1977 with the closure of Liverpool Exchange station, but the line to Wigan remains open.

Trains to Manchester Piccadilly and beyond began running in May 1988 with the opening of the Windsor Link.

Although Bolton is a major station, ticket barriers are not installed; tickets are usually manually checked at the main entrance.


The station currently has four platforms in use.

  • Platform 1 is used for trains heading north to Blackburn and Clitheroe, and trains heading south to Manchester Victoria.

  • Platform 2 is situated at the southern end of the station and allows for trains from the Manchester stations to terminate at Bolton.

  • Platform 3 is used for trains heading both to Manchester Victoria, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport, Rochdale, Stockport, Hazel Grove, Buxton and Chester.

  • Platform 4 is used for trains heading north and west including Wigan, Southport, Kirkby, Preston, Blackpool, Barrow-in-Furness, Windermere, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Up until the early 1990s, Bolton also had a Platform 5, latterly used for the Red Star Parcels service.

This is currently separated from Platform 4 by a brick wall and the track has been concreted over to form a car park for passenger use.

The track that made up Platform 5 is still partially visible when heading into Bolton station heading northward.


Between 2005 into 2006, part of the station and its surrounding area underwent major refurbishment. The walkway between the ticket office and platforms was modernised along with the station lifts and stairs.

Bolton Interchange which serves as a direct connection between Bus and Rail to certain districts of Bolton was rebuilt, incorporating a taxi rank.

The bridge connecting Newport Street with the rest of the town centre was also rebuilt, along with a large arch, which is clearly noticeable in the Bolton skyline.

In 2006 a proposal to refurbish the station toilets, waiting rooms, ticket office and platforms was rejected due to lack of funds.

In March 2010, GMPTE launched a consultation which proposed relocating Bolton bus station from Moor Lane to a new site adjacent to Bolton Interchange to improve connections between bus and train services.

Refurbishment work on the ticket office, platforms and cafe commenced on 15 November 2010.



There are frequent rail services to both main Manchester stations provided by both Northern Rail and First TransPennine Express.

Some of the services to Manchester Victoria continue eastward to Rochdale, whilst those to Piccadilly mainly run to either Hazel Grove or Manchester Airport.

There are three trains an hour to Wigan for much of the day, with hourly extensions to Southport plus two trains an hour to Blackpool North via Preston and an hourly service to Blackburn and Clitheroe (with extras at peak periods).

TransPennine Express also operate a limited number of through services beyond Preston to Barrow-in-Furness, Windermere, Glasgow or Edinburgh Waverley.

These were more frequent prior to the December 2013 timetable change, but most trains on this route now run via Wigan North Western and the newly electrified line over Chat Moss.

There was also a single service to and from Glasgow operated by Virgin Trains in the 2007-08 timetable, but this ended in December 2008.

Most routes have an hourly service on Sundays, although there is only a limited service to and from Scotland.

Services on the Southport line run through to Stockport and (every second hour) to Chester via Altrincham.

When FirstGroup were announced as the winner of the InterCity West Coast rail franchise they announced that they would be commencing services direct to London Euston by 2016, however Virgin Trains had also committed to operating a service should they continue to run the franchise.

On 6 December 2012 the Department for Transport announced that Virgin had been awarded a 23 month extension until 9 November 2014 after numerous administrative errors at the Department led to the collapse of the current rail franchising system.


Bus services are operated primarily by Arriva and First.

Buses run to many parts of Bolton and Greater Manchester including Johnson Fold, Farnworth, Horwich, Manchester, Wigan, Eccles and Stockport.

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