No this is not another posting about the 17th relaunch of the Maghull North Station project you will be glad to hear but it is about what the new station will potentially look like.
Just a recap first, it will be just north of Maghull’s School Lane where that road crosses the railway. The station will be between the yet to be constructed houses on what has become known as the Ashworth South Site (the site of the former Moss Side Hospital) and the present housing on Mersey Avenue. The station site looks like this at present (click on all the photos to enlarge):-
Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.
Merseytravel Committee members were recently given a briefing on the design and progress of the project and I am indebted to Cllr. John Dodd for in turn briefing me about it.
Here are some up to date design images:-
This one shows the School Lane overbridge to the left and the Mersey Avenue housing top/right.
This one is looking westwards with Mersey Avenue at the top. The housing in the bottom two thirds of it is yet to be built on the Ashworth South Site.
Access to the station car park will be via the School Lane roundabout that was constructed some years ago when the Ashworth South site was going to be used to build a new prison.
What can you say about the proposed station design? Well it’s modern, not particularly inspiring and so much like many new build stations these days. We seem to have forgotten what a railway station should look like. Indeed, we have a good example in the heritage buildings of the present Maghull Station and a little bit further down the same line towards Liverpool an example of how a once grand station (Aintree) has been modernised or is that vandalised! I will be posting about Aintree Station soon as I recently picked up a photo which really does show what has been lost.
But back to Maghull North. I hope it will be environmentally sustainable, solar panels, rainwater harvesting etc. but why can’t it be built with a bit more imagination in stone and brick to reflect say an updated version of the present Maghull Station? My posting from the public ‘consultation’ of not so long ago refers:-
Ah well, it seems those of us who attended the consultation event, which was more like an information event, failed to move Merseytravel and Network Rail about design and heritage issues (to be honest we thought we were being given the tea and sympathy routine at the time) so it looks like it will be another modern box like building.
But, having said that, the new station will be very welcome and I say that as someone who has fought for it to be constructed for more years than I wish to recall. Let’s hope trains will be stopping there soon – within a year to 18 months?