Kirkby – When it’s Ski Slope project went down the hill far too fast

Remember the ill-fated Kirkby Ski Slope project from the mid-1970’s?

It was the talk of Merseyside for quite a while but whilst it was meant to be for downhill skiing the whole project went down the hill far too fast to the great embarrassment of the Council of the day.

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

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/heres-how-kirkbys-ambitious-plan-15353527

What happens to Merseyside’s rubbish that can’t be recycled?

All lined up – Merseyside’s waste packed into containers for a ride to the north east.

Well it’s sent to Kirkby (Knowsley Freight Terminal to be precise) where it’s loaded into containers, put on the 2 trains that leave each day and taken to the north east of England to be burned.

The destination is a power station called Wilton which uses the waste to generate electricity. Wikipedia has a page on the power station – look for ‘Wilton 11’ down the page for comment about Merseyside’s waste:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilton_power_stations

A double-headed (2 loco) train departs Knowsley Freight Terminal on its way to Wilton Power Station.

Waste-to-energy (WtE) or energy-from-waste (EfW) is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the primary treatment of waste, or the processing of waste into a fuel source. WtE is a form of energy recovery. Most WtE processes generate electricity.

Landfill is now a very expensive and an environmentally dubious process although it is hugely more regulated than it used to be when rubbish was literally tipped into a hole in the ground with little if any thought as to the consequences of such tipping.

I recall as a child living in Maghull the tipping that was once done on Sefton Meadows during the 1960’s and 1970’s on land north and south of Sefton Lane/Bridges Lane. The southern tipping land is now forested and called Jubilee Woods and as a youngster at Ormonde High School cross country runs took you on a public footpath right through the tipping land – the smells were appalling. That same footpath is still there but walking it now you would never realise what’s under your feet.

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority set up and negotiated the contract to send Merseyside’s non-recyclable waste to Wilton.

Class 66 diesel locomotives 66040 and 66145 leaving Knowsley Freight Terminal on 24th August 2018 with another trainload of Merseyside’s waste.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them

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

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

Kirkby – Another end of the line for Merseyrail (at present)

The Merseyrail half of Kirkby Station looking towards Liverpool.

I have posted previously about the bizarre severing of the Liverpool – Preston railway line at Ormskirk which leaves a great 15 minute service from Ormskirk to Liverpool and a far from impressive irregular service from Ormskirk to Preston.

My posting about the Liverpool – Preston Line is available via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/05/01/ormskirk-end-of-the-line-well-end-of-two-lines-actually/

But there’s another of these bizarre serverings on the Merseyrail network at Kirkby where the Liverpool – Wigan Line is in effect chopped in two. In some ways this is actually more bizarre than the severing at Ormskirk because there’s another Merseyside community which Merseyrail does not reach just up the line at Rainford, part of St Helens Borough. If a severing had to take place surely Rainford would have been the obvious place would it not? BTW I am not arguing for such split tracks, indeed they make no sense to me at all.

Kirkby (like Ormskirk) is a single line, single platform station where the two separate train services meet end on and like Ormskirk the service on to Wigan and beyond is far less frequent and the Merseyrail one into Liverpool.

Also like on the Ormskirk Line there is is always talk of the Merseyrail system being extended, in the case of the Kirkby Line onto Skelmersdale. To achieve this a brand new spur line needs to be built into the 1960’s ‘New Town’ of Skem as the planners of the day ripped up and built on the railway line that ran through the old town of Skem from Ormskirk to St Helens. It will also mean a new station as well so the bill will be huge if the project ever gets the go ahead.

Looking at this optimistically the proposals are reasonably sound as Merseyrail would then run directly into Skem with a separate diesel service from Skem to Wigan from the new station. If the project was in the south it would have have had money chucked at it at least a decade ago but with recent back-tracking by Government over rail electrification schemes across a huge swathe of Northern England, whilst Cross-Rail 2 in London starts to get the thumbs up from Ministers, optimism about rail investment in the North of any sort is in very short supply. So for the foreseeable future Merseyrail will continue to stop at Kirkby.

The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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

Kirkby sculpures – How much!

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/who-paying-kirkby-artwork-10118875

TBR_LEC_100715elephant_01

When money is tight, which it certainly is across the public sector these days, spending over £300,000 of that scare public money on these at best dubious pieces of artwork makes you wonder what planet those who thought they were a good idea live on!