Aintree – Now here’s a unique piece of it’s railway history that had passed me by until now

I’m always interested to learn more about our local history (and in particular our railway history) in and around Sefton Borough and recently I’ve come across a unique aspect of Aintree’s railway history that until now had completely passed me by.

I refer to this Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Electric Locomotive At Aintree, Merseyside, 25th September 1912

Phil Hughes on the Mersey Railways Facebook Group, where the photos were recently displayed, says – From what I believe it was a test track possibly between Sefton junction and the bridge crossing the Ormskirk line hence the overhead wires.

Ryan Lloyd then contributed this – It ran from Aintree Sorting Sidings East box (about where the North Mersey branch crossed the Ormskirk line) past Aintree No1, which you can see in the distance, and around the back of the grid, to Netherton Way and Aintree Sorting Sidings West box. This section of the grid was on a slight embankment as the photo shows. You can also see the shed behind the loco.’

I hope you find this as fascinating as I do (ok I’m a railway enthusiast) and if anyone knows more to fill in any gaps in this posting I would be pleased to hear from you.

This posting and the photos are reproduced here with the kind permission of Phil Hughes who started the thread on the Mersey Railways Facebook Group.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Southport – For mild winters

The postcard depicted below is from the National Railway Museum’s collection

And the claim was as true then as it is now because the area around Southport generally does have milder winters. I say that as someone who has lived in the Nottinghamshire coalfield and Rochdale where winters really are winters.

But what also caught my eye about this postcard was the small print at the bottom because my old dad was the manager of Thomas Cook’s Lord Street shop in Liverpool from December 1968 to probably the early 1980’s when he moved to manage their shop in Southport. I’m guessing that there was no Thomas Cook shop in Southport at the time the postcard was published.

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Maghull – Its railway accident of New Year’s Day 1850

I am indebted to both Marie Borland and Roy Connell for providing information to me about the fatal accident at Maghull Station (Lancashire Yorkshire Railway) on 1st January 1850 where 3 people were killed.

A Board of Trade investigation took place following the accident I understand. Below is summary of the fateful events of that night although I am not presently sure of the source of the information:-

‘A terrible tragedy occurred at Maghull Station at around 9pm on 1st January 1850. A number of passengers were waiting for a train carriage to be added to a crowded Preston to Liverpool train. It was a foggy night and many were stood on a line, and failed to see an approaching luggage train heading from Colne to Liverpool. Three people were killed instantly. An inquest found that the luggage train had left Ormskirk before it should have done and returned a verdict of manslaughter against the driver and guard. They were both acquitted at the assizes in April when the prosecuting counsel withdrew the charges. The judge Baron Alderson, told the court ‘I have grave doubts whether people who run across the rails on a railway are entitled to be protected.’

I had not previously been aware of this accident so if there is more detail out there please, as always, come back to me about my postings.

Note:- I have been informed that the information was published on the Liverpool Hidden History Facebook pages, so happy to give credit to that source. I have also found a write up about the crash in Mona Duggan’s ‘The people of Ormskirk’ book published in 2011.

Waterloo (Crosby) Station in times gone by

An L&Y electric train at Waterloo

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Not to be confused with London’s Waterloo Station this is Waterloo on Merseyrail’s present Northern Line from Liverpool to Southport.

The old Lancashire and Yorkshire electric rolling stock is from a very different era. A fascinating glimpse into the past.

The undated photo was purchased by me recently and is originally from an old postcard.

The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

Waterloo Level Crossing – A Blast from the past.


Click on the photo to enlarge it.

We all like to look at old photos. This one is from Waterloo and shows the level crossing in October 1906. The signal box was constructed in 1881. I recently purchased this photo from the National Railway Museum in York. The railway is now part of the Merseyrail Northern Line from Liverpool to Southport having originally been a part of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway.

The photo is amongst those on my Flickr site at:-

Maghull Station as it used to be

Maghull Station, on Merseyrail’s Northern Line, is now a modern and very well used facility. Indeed, it is so busy that the addition of a new Maghull North Station (to be built between the School Lane and Park Lane railway bridges) is now almost a certainty since the Coalition Government put up £6.2m towards the presently estimated cost of £7m.

Yes, I know, I also heard that Maghull Labour councillors were celebrating the massive grant from the Coalition; money the last Labour Government did not come even close to stumping up! Funny old world is it not. Reminds me of them also celebrating the Coalition putting up the money to build the Thornton – Switch Island Link Road which Labour never got around to funding when running the Country either. Funny old world again is it not!

But I digress, the purpose of this posting is to publish a couple of old photos of Maghull Station, from the days when Maghull was very much a rural community. The first one is undated but looks to be Edwardian era. I purchased it recently:-


The second is not very good quality as it is reproduced from a photo sent in to the former Liverpool Daily Post Newspaper, which sadly closed down a few months ago. I have tried, so far unsuccessfully, to track down the original photo which was sent in to the Paper from an Aughton household. I am informed that the photo dates from 1940 and it looks to have been quite a cold and wintery spell indeed:-


Maghull Station was originally a Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway outpost and those with longish memories will recall the Scottish expresses running through it at speed until the late 1960’s when some fools decided to break the rails at Ormskirk to stop through trains to Preston and beyond.

The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-