This posting is about Altcar and Hillhouse Station on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway some 12 years after the line closed. The photo is from a collection held by former BR employee Neil Reston which has recently been passed on to me by his family.
The scene of ‘dereliction’ (the word used by Neil to describe it in his album) looks south towards the next station on the line (Lydiate) from the vantage point of the road over-bridge which still exists.
And a bit of background – The line and this station opened on 1st September 1884, the station closed for just over 2 years during the 1st World War and it closed for good on 7th January 1952. The line north of Altcar & Hillhouse (towards Southport) was lifted shortly after the line closed in July 1952, however there was rail access from the south to serve private sidings until 1960.
Click on the photo to enlarge it
Great Altcar Civil Parish in West Lancashire remains a predominately rural community to this day. It lost its very rural passenger service along the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway in 1952, well before Beeching came along.
The trackbed is now a part of the National Cycle Network, the Trans Pennine Trail and is known as the Cheshire Line Path.
The two light and shade shots in this posting were taken just to the north of the site of the former Altcar & Hillhouse Station. Both are looking south and from the same location – the next bridge north of the B5195 Wood Lane.
If you click on the photos to enlarge them you will see more detail. The first one shows the next bridge south (Wood Lane) and the former station would have been just the other side of it where a sewerage works now stands at the side of the Cheshire Lines path.
I love the stone and brickwork in these shots, built to last you might say. The line opened in September 1884, so these bridges are over 130 years old and still looking pretty much as good as the day they were erected.
The first shot is also amongst my Flickr photos at – www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/
I’ve always been fascinated by the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, which ran from Aintree Central Station to Southport Lord Street Station, and I’ve blogged about it many times before.
The other day I had the opportunity to purchase an old and undated photo of the former Altcar and Hillhouse Station on the line. I took the opportunity up and the photo is above:-
I should add that I do not know who, if anyone, holds the copyright to this photo but would be happy to acknowledge them if I receive information.
The station was the next one north of the former Lydiate Station, itself not in Lydiate but also in the Civil Parish of Great Altcar. Just north of the station was the junction with the Liverpool, Southport & Preston Junction Railway in effect a branch of the West Lancashire Railway. The next station on the S&CLER northwards being Mossbridge.
Altcar & Hillhouse Station opened in September 1884, it closed from January 1917 to April 1919 (due to the 1st WW) and closed altogether in January 1952 with the whole line closing in July 1952. However, whilst the line north of the station was lifted shortly after closure rail access from the Liverpool end was retained until 1960 to serve private sidings on the site of the station.
The road bridge visible in the photo is sit in situ and the trackbed is now a part of the Cheshire Lines/Trans Pennine Trail foot and cycle path.
Please click on the photo to enlarge it
The photo above is of Altcar & Hillhouse Station on 6th June 1959
Altcar and Hillhouse Station was on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway that ran from Aintree Central to Southport Lord Street Stations. Altcar is in the present Borough of West Lancashire. The station was between Lydiate and Mossbridge Stations. It opened on 1st September 1884, closed from 1st January 1917 to 1st April 1919 (due to the First World War) and finally closed altogether on 7th January 1952. A private siding on the site remained in use up until 1960 so the track from the southbound (Aintree) direct remained in place until then.
The people on site in this 1959 photo, as shown above, were part of a rail tour.
Some of the stations along this line were of a unique design and Sefton & Maghull Station (two stations south) was similar to this one.
The site of the station is still undeveloped as it is in a remote rural location. The modern day Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail passes it and the road overbridge that would have been behind the photographer (W A Brown I understand) is still standing and in use.
The photo has scanned from a photo I recently purchased.
The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
I came across an old Ordnance Survey map of Liverpool the other day in the most unlikely of places – Bewdley Station on the Severn Valley Railway. The map was published in 1961 but in reality the last full revision of it was in 1958. Oh, and it was sold for Five Shillings & Sixpence.
Having scanned the Maghull/Lydiate section of the map it is worth looking at not least because it shows that the Southport and Cheshire Lines Extension Railway was still active as far north as Altcar. Here’s that part of the map:-
Click on the map to enlarge it.
Sefton and Maghull, Lydiate and indeed Altcar & Hillhouse Stations are all noted as closed – denoted by the white circles. Open Stations are red circles as Maghull Station is denoted on the Liverpool – Ormskirk Line.
Maghull and Lydiate were much smaller communities back in the late 1950’s but this posting is not the place for another rant about building on high grade agricultural land.
But back to the Cheshire Lines Railway. As many will know the line from Aintree to Southport closed in July 1952 but rail access from Liverpool was retained up until 1960 to serve private sidings on the Altcar & Hillhouse site.
Interesting to see how much this part of Liverpool’s northern commuter belt has changed in less than 60 years.
This follows up a number of previous postings about the long-gone railway from Aintree Central to Southport Lord Street which closed well before Mr Beeching had a hack at Britain’s railways.
This station, on the old Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, was between Lydiate and Mossbridge Stations. It opened in 1894, closed for a couple of years during the First World War (along with a number of other stations along this line) and survived until the line was closed in 1952. Rail access was still retained until 1960 to serve private sidings on the Station site.
The photo above was taken in June 1959 when a railway enthusiasts special was run.