#287 – East Lancs Railway Photo Locations 13 – Rawtenstall Station

Unlike Ramsbottom, Rawtenstall is a terminus station, so if you’re travelling on the train, you will have more time to get out and walk round as the engine has to run round to the other end of the train to head back down the line. Rawtenstall is a good place to actually start your journey on account of the large free car park adjacent to the station, although the town itself does not have much going for it in my opionion.

Photographic opportunities are fairly limited, unless you want shots of the engine sat at the platform, and you’ll have to be quick to get these before it runs round. Best bet is to head down to the other end of the unusually long platform, and capture the engine as it goes back down the line to the sidings and pulls up back to the train. Careful framing is needed, and I’d recommend the use of a longer focal length (70mm+ on full frame) to isolate the engine and background away from the platform clutter.

If the engine is facing south (ie smokebox / front of the engine is facing Bury), an alternative is to leave the station, and head back parallel with the line to the level crossing just before the station. Just before the level crossing is a stone wall over which you can see the railway, and is great spot to capture the departing train. It’s also possible to get some decent shots of the engine and crew running round and filling with water if you are in the right spot with the right lens – something I’ve not yet succeeded in yet!

Night photography here is harder as there is less light from the platform, and fewer vantage points, although it is possible in the right circumstances.

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