Bolton’s Meccano Canal Bridge

Well this had completely passed me by and it was a photo displayed on Flickr yesterday which caught my eye and made me find out more. Here’s a couple of links to this marvellous project:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-22051441

www.northwestmeccano.co.uk/Giant%20Bridge.html

The pedestrian bridge is close to the Nob End/Prestolee flight of locks on the Manchester, Bury and Bolton Canal which is presently undergoing restoration.

As a Trustee of the Maghull based Frank Hornby Trust which runs the Frank Hornby Experience exhibition within the Town’s Meadows Leisure Centre I’ve been delighted to learn of this wonderful piece of scaled up Meccano artwork, if belatedly. Must get to see it.

My thanks to Barnsley Victor on Flickr for permission to use his photo which is at the head of this posting – www.flickr.com/photos/123594177@N08/50673950813

Sefton, West Lancs & Liverpool – Old railway photos in the locality – Maghull

Maghull Signal Box in 1968

I’m delighted to have the permission of Antony Graham to use his historic railway photos in my blog postings about railway matters in the locality of the heading of this posting. I hope you’ll enjoy the photos and stories surrounding them over the coming months…..

I’m starting off with a location which is very well known to me as I lived in Maghull for 33 years and was involved in the campaign to try to save the former Maghull Signal Box from demolition in 1993/4 whilst I was Mayor of the Town.

The Signal Box in 1993 – It closed in February 1994.

And here’s a write-up that Anthony published with the lead photo on his Flickr page which details the history of the Signal Box:-

‘Constructed in 1875, the box was opened in 1876, being inspected on 15th May of that year, and was a Saxby & Farmer type 7 structure with a 19 lever Saxby & Farmer 1874-pattern Rocker & Gridiron frame. A gate wheel was also provided. The box initially controlled the level crossing, a crossover and connections to a down refuge siding and up goods yard. In 1884 a ground frame was added to control an additional connection from the up main to the up goods yard, this was bolt-locked from Maghull box. On 16th November 1896 the lever frame was relocked with L&Y tappets, a new L&Y gate wheel was probably added at the same time. On 29th June 1909 a new, 28 lever, L&Y frame was installed and a second crossover was installed north of the station, for the new EMU service to turn back. A new up bay platform was added and a railmotor service, that had previously run from Aintree to Ormskirk, now started from Maghull, connecting with EMU services to and from Liverpool. In 1911 the railmotors moved to start/terminate from Town Green, when electrification reached that station, full electrified services reaching Ormskirk in 1913. It is not known if the up bay platform was used after 1911, but the connection to it was not disconnected until 13th September 1942. The ground frame and its connection to the up goods yard were removed between 1949 and 1952. The down refuge siding was disconnected on 15th December 1963 and disconnection of the up goods yard took place on 18th June 1964. On 18th June 1967 the north end crossover was also disconnected. Manned Controlled Barriers replaced the level crossing gates on 31st July 1977, the gate wheel being replaced by a barrier pedestal. The box closed on 10th February 1994. There are no surviving Saxby & Farmer type 7 signal boxes.’

And here are some inside shots of the Signal Box:-

Maghull Box Interior 1969 Signalman Frank McLoughlin

Maghull Box interior 1969

Maghull Box Interior 1976 – Relief Signalman Stan Parker

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Maghull’s lost signal box – I’ll return in future postings to other railway locations which Anthony photographed in the area. But to close, my own photo of the last track plan for Maghull Signal Box which is presently displayed within the permanent Frank Hornby Experience exhibition within Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Centre & Library:-

Please click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull – Totems get art-worked on Cheshire Lines Path

I came across these rather lovely art-worked totems on the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail behind Sefton Drive on one of my bike rides the other day:-

The totems have been there for some time and I’m guessing that they have been painted up by the same volunteers who installed them. Very nice.

The 2nd photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/49053830736/in/dateposted/

Town Green – Taking advantage of the ‘Engineer’s Possession’ of the line north of Maghull

The Merseyrail Northern Line from Liverpool to Ormskirk was closed north of Maghull Station over the Christmas period (and it will be again on various dates in the coming weeks) to facilitate the building of the second railway station for the Town – unimaginatively to be called Maghull North!

But it seems that Network Rail have been taking advantage of the closure (engineer’s possession) to do other works on the line north of Maghull, which of course makes sense.

The following photos were taken at Town Green Station on 5th January as Network Rail engineers were working on the line. My guess is that the work was associated with drainage but I am open of course to correction. The blue grids between the up and down lines are part of the works undertaken.

The last but one photo is also amongst my Flickr photos at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Maghull North Station – Progress on its construction

Things are really moving now as can be seen from the shot below taken from the School Lane overbridge today.

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

The platform edgings are now visible. The line north of the present Maghull Station remains closed to Merseyrail trains to and from Ormskirk until Monday 8th January. However, as the RMT union is on strike on the 8th and trains will not be running north of Maghull for that reason then the engineering works will continue throughout that day too.

The photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Maghull – Volunteers make Station look special but have you seen the weeds on the line?

A walk across the level crossing at Maghull Station recently brought this into sight:-

Network Rail have weed spraying trains that travel the rails of the UK dealing with the unwanted growth between and at the side of the rails and it looks like the Liverpool – Ormskirk Northern Line of Merseytrail must be due a visit.

Beautiful award winning flower displays at Maghull Station by Maghull Station Volunteers.

Considering the work Maghull Station Volunteers do to make Maghull an award winning station a little weed spraying by Network Rail would not go amiss me thinks.

The first photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/