After the trains had gone

Lydiate Station after closure – From Neil Reston Collection

A look back at the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway by Keith Hick, published with the OPSTA Connexion Magazine Issue 155 – Feb 2022

There’s a great supplement to the OPSTA magazine for Feb’ 2022 in the form of a pamphlet written by locally renowned railway historian Keith Hick which, if I’ve understood things correctly, will form a part of a larger piece of work about the history of Southport’s railways in general. Having checked with OPSTA I’ve scanned the 12 pages of the supplement and present them here. You need to click on each page to be able to read it.

This railway has always fascinated me. Aged 10 in 1968 I went to live on Sefton Lane Maghull, just a quarter of a mile from the former Sefton & Maghull Station. I recall the platforms still being in place back then. This excellent piece by Keith Hick is very much spot on and appreciated.

And finally for this post what the trackbed looks like today as part of the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail –

Farm access bridge over the former Cheshire Lines railway between the former Lydiate & Sefton & Maghull Stations.

Talk on the Cheshire Lines Extension Railway at The Atkinson, Southport

I attended what turned out to be a packed out talk about the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, which ran from Aintree Central Station, through Sefton & Maghull & Lydiate Stations and on through rural West Lancs to terminate at Southport Lord Street Station. The talk was given by Keith Hick on 13th February and when I say packed out I mean it! The studio at The Atkinson seats 260 we were told and they had to put extra chairs out to accommodate everyone wanting to hear and see it. Seems there are many railway enthusiasts in and around Sefton Borough:-)

Closed now since 1952 the line was never profitable but there were people in the audience who clearly still recall it. I’ve blogged about the line many times and one of my postings was about Lydiate Station signal box – it’s accessible via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/08/01/lydiate-signal-box-southport-cheshire-lines-extension-railway/

Keith Hick is a wonderful story teller and the huge number of photos that he produced brought out many which I had not previously seen despite my having a big interest in the line for many years. He also brought along a beautiful steam engine nameplate:-

The plate is from Ex-LMS rebuilt Patriot Class 4-6-0 No 45527 ‘Southport’. Here’s a link to photo of the loco and more information about it:-

www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/lnwra3630.htm

All in all a great and well received talk by Keith Hick, indeed the staff at The Atkinson told us it was the largest audience they had ever had for a local history talk.

Note: Peter Kendrick advises me that Lydiate Station was demolished (probably by Rainfords) in May 73.