Railway request stops in Britain

@Asylum (48266)
Manchester, England
March 8, 2016 5:03am CST
Despite living all my life in England, I had no idea that these rail stations still existed. Yesterday I took a trip over to my home town of Bolton, which involved catching the Clitheroe train from Manchester. As the train was slowing down at Bolton the guard announced that we were now entering Bolton and continued to list the forthcoming stops. The part that caught me by surprise was the mention Entwistle along with referring to it as “by request”. I actually asked a woman sitting nearby to ensure that I had not misheard. I do know where Entwistle is and I am aware that it is a small community, but had no idea that the system of request railway stations was still in existence. To alight from the train there you need to inform the guard of the fact and to catch a train from there you have to signal to the driver as the train approaches. Apparently there are still about 150 such small stations scattered across Britain, although I thought that this concept had ceased almost a century ago.
10 people like this
10 responses
@Platespinner (17047)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
8 Mar 16
You never know what you're going to learn...
2 people like this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
I lived not far from Entwistle for over 30 years and was still unaware of that aspect.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
8 Mar 16
@Asylum I guess it's one of those things you know about if you live in a community that it serves.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
@Platespinner This is no doubt true. Anyone who lives in Entwistle or any of the other localities served by such a station will assume it to be normal.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (130426)
• Bunbury, Australia
8 Mar 16
That's interesting - and that's a lot of small stations still on the system. I guess stops at these aren't required very often.
2 people like this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
It still surprises me because I would expect such a station to either have a minimum service or be totally closed.
2 people like this
@millie02 (6906)
• United Kingdom
8 Mar 16
I have never heard of this with the trains before, but I think they do it on busses. Sounds like a good idea.
2 people like this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
I have seen it on television shows depicted the US during the cowboy era, but not in England in 2016.
@LadyDuck (171121)
• Switzerland
8 Mar 16
This is incredible, but I like those old British traditions. It would be wonderful to have the same services also in the other countries.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
If someone had asked me a few days ago about such stations I would have most likely said that they had not existed for a century or so. I even know the area quite well since it is very local to my home town, but have never had cause to use the train to go there.
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@LadyDuck (171121)
• Switzerland
8 Mar 16
@Asylum I almost never use the train here, I prefer the bus, it stops a few steps from our home.
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@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
@LadyDuck The tram and the bus stop locally for me and the tram runs into the railway station, which males all services convenient.
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@gudheart (12742)
8 Mar 16
That is interesting. I had not heard of that area despite not living far from Bolton myself!
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@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
If you are living close to Bolton then you should have heard of Entwistle. It is on the route towards Clitheroe.
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@gudheart (12742)
8 Mar 16
@Asylum It is bad that I don't! How far is it from Bolton?
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@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
@gudheart It is about 5 miles North of Bolton, close to Edgworth or Turton.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (119219)
• Boise, Idaho
9 Mar 16
Glad to hear that the railway is still acknowledging this practice. So many good things have been lost in life. Good to know a few still remain.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
9 Mar 16
Yes, it is rather quaint and old fashioned system that reminds of us of the past.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (119219)
• Boise, Idaho
9 Mar 16
@Asylum ...Hope it continues a while.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
9 Mar 16
@celticeagle If the system is still alive today then it is not likely to disappear soon.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Mar 16
Very cool. Once my students and I were able to board a train in Germany we had missed (we caught up racing in three taxis) at an abandoned station. It was a great deal of fun.
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@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
This is a surprise because I would expect the train to travel far too fast to be caught via road.
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• United States
9 Mar 16
@Asylum The train had to stick to the railway, of course. The taxis took a different route through the mountain terrain. It was great fun when the three taxis skidded to a stop in the gravel by the side of the rails as the train came around the bend. Da kommt der Zug!
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@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
9 Mar 16
@ElizabethWallace Oh now I understand, the railway had to circumvent the mountain as opposed to a straight line.
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@allknowing (68752)
• India
8 Mar 16
I remember this used to be a practice here years ago specially for bus travellers. We would sit in a bus thinking that it was an express bus but those halts in between were annoying.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
It is still commonplace on many bus services here, but the concept of a train stopping by request is something I have not heard about even when I was a child.
@allknowing (68752)
• India
8 Mar 16
@Asylum You are right there. Yes. A train stopping on request even I have not heard of.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
@allknowing Since this si taking place at around 150 stations across the country it is logical to assume that it has always applied, yet somehow I never encountered it before.
1 person likes this
@pgiblett (6587)
• Canada
8 Mar 16
We lived close to one such stop when I lived in England, I used to concerned that the train would not stop when I wanted to get out at that stop.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
It would be human nature for most of us to have apprehensions.
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@pgiblett (6587)
• Canada
8 Mar 16
@Asylum Of course it is and anyone that doesn't have such fears should be placed in an asylum.
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@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
@pgiblett Most of my fellow residents in the asylum have those concerns as well.
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@jaboUK (54871)
• United Kingdom
8 Mar 16
I had no idea they existed either, but I very rarely use the train nowadays.
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@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
8 Mar 16
It was an even bigger surprise to me when I discovered that there are still about 150 such stations.
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