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Written by Mark Bearton - 09 Jan 2005
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Location notes
Farington Curve Junction is immediately south of Preston on the West Coast Main Line. It is a complex series of lines comprising of the WCML which is heading north-south, the Ormskirk line which heads west and the Blackburn line which diverges to the west with the Ormskirk line but immediately swings through 130 degrees to cross the WCML at right angles and head east.
There also used to be a connecting line from the Ormskirk to the Blackburn lines at Lostock Hall.
Railway type and traffic
The Blackburn line usually sees class 142s on the hourly Blackpool South to Colne service and 158s on the Leeds trains. The Ormskirk line has usually has a class 153 shuttling back and forth.
Diversionary trains from Preston north via the Settle and Carlisle line head south from the station and take the Blackburn line.
The road is a fairly busy road with the occasional pedestrian.
Road directions
From the M6, Junction 29:
Where it crosses the M65, fork west onto the M65 to its end (signposted Preston South). The end of the M65 curves right and comes to a roundabout, with the A6 to the right and straight on, and the A582 to the left. Turn left and continue to the next roundabout where you turn right towards Lostock Hall. You enter Lostock Hall and pass three sets of traffic light in close succession. Turn left at the third, immediately after KFC on the left, into Coote Lane.

From Preston
Cross the River Ribble on the A59 and take the A582 signposted towards the M6/M65 southbound. The road curves to the right as a dual-carriageway climbing under a bridge (the road here is on the course of an old railway to Southport, the bridge the site of an old station). The road singles just before a roundabout. Second exit continues along the A582. Straight across the next roundabout and after about a mile, turn left at traffic lights which leads you to Coote Lane.

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Farington Curve Junction, Coote Lane map co-ordinates
Coote Lane crosses three bridges, east to west being the WCML, the Blackburn line and the Ormskirk line. It is best to park between the Blackburn and Ormskirk bridges, away from the brow of the hill, tucking your car slightly on the pavement, though there are regular pedestrians so leave enough room for them.
Public transport
Fishwick's service 111 operates frequently from Preston to Leyland via Lostock Hall and passes Bee Lane. Service 109 (Fishwick/Stagecoach joint) operates every 30 minutes from Chorley to Preston.

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There are no toilets in the area. The nearest shops and pubs are in Lostock Hall.
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Farington Curve Junction, Coote Lane

Googly map
Streetmap links
Farington Curve Junction, Coote Lane general view map
Farington Curve Junction, Coote Lane close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Farington Curve Junction, Coote Lane

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Photographic notes
Views of the WCML are not really possible due to the catenary.
The Ormskirk line is best from late morning to about 2 pm for Ormskirk bound trains (though as they are units on a single line, rear of train shots are somewhat similar!), after which the light becomes head on.
The Blackburn line is fine for trains heading away from Preston from dinner time onwards until late afternoon due to the sharp curve of the line.

General views - All photographs © Mark Bearton unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking south

Fig 1 - Looking south

The Ormskirk line

Fig 2 - Looking north

Fig 2 - Looking north

This shot is no longer available as the tree line in the foreground of this image has grown up and now incroaches on the shot.

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