Merseyrail Tour raising funds for Alder Hey

Merseyrail Class 508 EMU at Maghull Station

I’ve been informed that there’s a rail tour coming up on the Merseyrail network on Sunday 26th January 2020. The tour will be raising funds for Merseyrail’s charity of the year, Alder Hey Children’s charity.

The tour can be booked from the Branch Line Society (BLS) website www.branchline.uk/current-fixtures.php and is charged at £25.08 per person. This is a relatively cheap price as in previous years the BLS tour on the MR network has been charged at a higher price.

The tour involves coverage of all lines of the MR network including the stock interchange line (transfer between the Northern and Wirral line, not usually used for passenger service), Sandhills reverse sidings, arrival/departure from platform 2 at Hunts Cross and use of a number of less used platforms on the Wirral line. Full details of the tour are provided in the link above.

Depending on the progress with the introduction of the new fleet this time next year, this could be the last rail tour operated by the Class 507/508’s.

The previous tour on Merseyrail (The Branch Line Society’s Bootle Brush hauled by Class 47’s) in December 2019 prompted a number of people comment on the lack of notice of such tours taking place so here’s some notice of the up and coming one.

My thanks to Craig for the lead to this posting

A Merseyrail electric Class 507 EMU at Bootle New Strand Station.

News on those new Merseyrail trains

A mock-up of a Class 777 Stadler EMU as displayed in Birkenhead a while back

Rail Color News has an article about the soon to be delivered first new train for the Merseyrail network – see link below:-

railcolornews.com/2020/01/06/uk-merseyrail-no-003-including-detrainment-door/

A mock-up of a Class 777 – The new Merseyrail trains that will soon replace the Class 507/508 EMU’s

Bootle building I started work in suffers bomb hoax

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/council-office-evacuated-after-man-17534301

This Echo story hit home to me as I started work as a fresh faced lad of 17 in Magdalen House in September 1975. In those days the building housed Inland Revenue staff. I worked there for 3 years if memory serves.

And my second encounter with the very same building came about quite a few years later when I would go to it as a Sefton Councillor. It had passed from the Inland Revenue to the Health and Safety Executive but when the H&SE moved to a brand new building nearby Sefton Council took Magdalen House on. They did this because the adjacent Balliol House was in a poor state of repair and their staff needed to be moved out. Balliol House was subsequently demolished.

Memories……..

Ormskirk – Preston Line – Turn it over to Merseyrail

Ormskirk’s Station where Merseyrail and Norther trains meet.

As the painful (for passengers) demise of Northern Rail has all but been announced by Government is it not time to take the opportunity to take one of the UK’s most poorly operated lines out of the Northern Franchise and hand it to a rail operator which regularly tops the league table for reliability and performance – Merseyrail.

Let’s look at the advantages of doing that:-

* Gaining reliable trains on a line which has suffered so much from unreliable trains in recent years
* Being able to travel from Liverpool to Preston without having to change trains in Ormskirk
* Get the frequency of trains up from just 1 per hour north of Ormskirk (when they actually run) and bring in much needed Sunday services too

Disadvantages:-

* Er I can’t think of any
* Er I can’t think of any
* Er I can’t think of any

Ormskirk Station – The train in the foreground is Preston bound (when it’s not being replaced by a bus). The one behind it is Liverpool bound.

Let’s stop mucking about and do the most sensible and logical thing to bring back the Liverpool – Preston rail corridor as one whole operation rather than having Ormskirk as the muddle in the middle. Everyone would win from such a move

Lydiate – A postcard of ‘The Runnies’

I recently purchased the postcard scanned above, published by Judges of Hastings, and am guessing the photo was taken in the 1990’s but I could be well be wrong. Can anyone date it from the type of signs it had back then? Clearly the postcard is pre the new bridge and traffic light/barriers

It’s interesting that the postcard was published for the Lancashire Federation of Women’s Institutes and the photo was taken by a Mrs A McFarlane of Lathom WI.

Just for comparison here’s the shot replicated in Jan 2020:-

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Melling – New Cycle path from M58 Ashworth Junction?

Firstly let me say that I’m delighted that Sefton Council is, together with Knowsley Council, creating a safe cycle route from Melling to Kirkby, but, there’s always a but……..

Have a look at this photo:-

What you can see is the end of the brand new cycle path where it crosses over the dual carriageway to continue on the other side of the road in the Kirkby direction. From where it ends the narrower original pavement can be made out. Beyond that is the junction with Prescot Road.

My question is what are cyclists supposed to do if they are heading northwards along Prescot Road? Answer – they either have to stay on what becomes pavement or rejoin the traffic coming off the motorway junction. Both options are hardly desirable so why hasn’t the cycle path also been continued (on the side as in the photo) down to the Prescot Road junction and around into Prescot Road for a short distance to facilitate safe cycling?

Obviously I don’t know the answer to my question but I highlight the matter as, in my view, highway engineers who are not themselves cyclists or who do not know the routes cyclists take in a community can end up (with all the best of intentions I might add) not really resolving safety issues for cyclists as their cycle routes do not end in appropriate places.