The Bury and Tottington Railway Company was founded in 1877 and work commenced on the single track on 26th July 1878. The service between Bury and Holcombe Brook began in November 1882 with six return trips daily. There were stations at Woodhill Road, Brandlesholme Road, Woolfold, Tottington and Greenmount.
In 1888 the company became part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. In 1905 halts, which were just wooden sleepers, were opened at Sunnywood and Knowles Level Crossing.
When Dick Kerr and Company of Preston wished to tender for a rail electrification project in Brazil they approached the L & Y Railway to see if they could carry out tests on a local line agreeing to electrify it and run services at their own expense. Our branch line was chosen and with power from a sub-station at Holcombe Brook a current of 3500 volts by overhead wires. Services commenced in July 1913 but in 1918 the line was changed to 1200 volt third rail electrification – the highest voltage on the ground in Britain.
The line reverted to steam in March 1951 but closed to passengers the following year but continued to carry freight from Bury to Holcombe Brook until 1960 and to Tottington until August 1963.
Article adapted from The Kirklees Valley Trail by Ken Craven, published by Tottington District Society 1990.