Maghull – New Station Opening Day Photos

Having campaigned for Maghull’s 2nd railway station to be built over many years and being a railway enthusiast I had to be there to see and indeed ride the first train out of the station today. It was the 05.58 from Maghull North (ex Ormskirk) to Liverpool.

Together with a few hardy folk (it was a cold and windy morning) we joined the train and here are some shots of events:-

05.58am 1st train into the new station for Liverpool

The Merseyrail welcome tent giving out cup cakes. The chap on the right in orange is one of the engineers who built the station.

Ticket to ride the first train

View of a later Liverpool bound train

Radio Merseyside were there and they interviewed some travellers and even me. I also rode the first train back into the station travelling to Ormskirk.

By the time I left the station around 7.30am the car park was filling up and large numbers of travellers were turning up. One lady asked me in worrying tones whether trains really were running from the station as I was getting back into my car. I was able to assure her they were and thought to myself good job the line is not being run by Northern!

So Maghull now has its 2nd station and a pleasant opening day it was too. Great to chat with Stephen an engineer who has worked on the project for contractors Buckingham. Let’s hope the station settles in to being a great success on the Merseyrail system.

Maghull – It’s 2nd railway station opens tomorrow 66 years after it lost its original 2nd station

Maghull lost its original 2nd railway station when it closed on 7th January 1952. That station (Sefton and Maghull) was on Sefton Lane and was a part of the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway.

I’m told by an old Maghullian in the know that the first talk of a 2nd station for Maghull, on the Liverpool – Ormskirk line, was just after World War 2, so its taken a while you might say to get it built.

The serious talk has been going on for I suppose over the last 25 years and it took some time to secure the station site. My good friend and former Sefton councillor for Maghull, Roy Connell, had a hand in that effort and the battle was won some 10 or more years ago when the rest of what was then called the Ashworth South Site* was down to have a prison built on it. That prison, which was never built of course**, is not to be confused with the temporary prison (HMP Kennet) which did operate from the former Ashworth East site for just under 10 years until quite recently.

Maghull North Station site – 27th September 2017

Construction of the new station (somewhat unimaginatively called Maghull North***) started last September and when it became apparent that it was due to open alongside the May 2018 railway timetable changes some of those in the railway know scratched their heads and said ‘that’s not going to happen’ or words to that effect. And indeed it did not and the opening was put back a month until 18th June.

This photo shows, on the left hand side the shortish back gardens of the Mersey Avenue houses.

The building of the new station has not been without considerable upset though for the residents of Maghull’s Mersey Avenue, who will have the station at the bottom of their back gardens. Noise, overnight working and the height/scale/position of the lift towers became huge issues and it led to demands for compensation payments which remain unresolved I understand. So it’s worth those standing on the platform of the new station taking a few moments to think of the troubles of the Mersey Avenue residents.

Having fought for the station to be built for more years than I care to recall I’m obviously pleased that it’s finally arrived. Now we want Merseyrail’s Liverpool – Ormskirk Line extended to its logical end of Preston. The present arrangement of a poor and unreliable service by Northern Trains onward from Ormskirk is a hang over from the decline of our railways in the 1960’s. I hope I’m still breathing when Northern are kicked off that line and we can all once again travel the length of the Preston to Liverpool railway.

Welcome Maghull North, your birth has been a long and tough one but you should be of benefit to many future generations.

* Former site of the world famous former Moss Side Hospital which pioneered the treatment of shell shock during and after World War 1.

** When the new prison was cancelled @2010 the site was designated for housing and presently the Poppy Fields and Pavilions housing estates are being built on the site.

*** Campaigners seeking to acknowledge the world groundbreaking medical history made at Moss Side Hospital wanted the new railway station to be called ‘Maghull Moss Side’ but the dead hand of railway administration was having none of it. They had made a decision and we were stuck with it so to speak just as they refused a quite sensible request to change the name of the old Maghull station (which was once called Maghull & Melling) to ‘Maghull Hornby’ in recognition of former Maghull resident and world famous toy maker Frank Hornby.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull – Delay in new Maghull North Station opening – Here’s why

News reaches us that the originally planned opening in May will not happen and presently the target day to open the new station on Merseyrail’s Northern Line (between Liverpool and Ormskirk) is said to be 18th June.

That a major project like this fails to reach its target opening date is no surprise at all – Just look at the new station at Kenilworth where 3 opening dates have come and gone and now no dates are being offered for the opening. Let’s hope Maghull North will not be on a similar track!

I asked our man on the inside of Merseytravel, Cllr. John Dodd, to find out what what’s going on and this is what he found out:-

‘The date [June 18th] has been selected based on the essential work Network Rail need to undertake on the signalling system to allow the introduction of the new station.’

A not particularly exciting answer but at least we have one.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull North Station – Latest construction photos – It’s also 66 years since Maghull lost its original 2nd Station

Here are a couple of photo’s taken on Sunday 14th January of work being undertaken on the site of the Town’s new and soon to be second railway station, which is due to open in May of this year:-

It is 66 years this month since Maghull lost its original second railway station on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway. That station was on Sefton Lane and it was called Sefton & Maghull.

Sefton & Maghull Station @ 1930 – Photo D Thompson

The station closed on 7th January 1952 and the site has been built over by what was originally the Koters factory.

The site of Sefton & Maghull Station in 2017

The only reaming thing associated with that station is what is now a hump in Sefton Lane. The hump was until not so long ago a bridge carrying the road over the old railway. It was too expensive to take away the whole bridge and ramps up to it so the open part, where the tracks originally were, was filled in by Sefton Council in the 1990’s. Here’s an old photo from when the bridge and its parapet wall was still in place – the copyright owner is unknown to me:-

So 66 years after losing it’s second railway station Maghull will get it back all be it on the same Liverpool – Ormskirk line as the present Maghull Station.

Click on the photos to enlarge them – The 2nd one from the top of this posting is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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

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/

1968 – A famous year for UK railways but will it be celebrated on the line where steam last ran for real?

A cold day at Maghull Station, where once Liverpool Exchange to Glasgow steam hauled trains would thunder through.

I’ve recently been reading a book by Michael S Welch called ‘Lancashire Steam Finale’ published in 2004 and which has some stunning photos of the very last days of steam power on British railways within it.

And then it dawned on me 2018 is 50 years since steam engines last ran on BR before being replaced by diesel and electric trains altogether. What’s more the line from Liverpool Exchange through Aintree, Maghull, Ormskirk, Preston and on to Carlisle was the very last line to run a regular steam hauled service.

‘The very last ordinary steam passenger train in Great Britain was the 9.25pm from Preston to Liverpool on 3rd August’ to quote from Michael’s book.

Are any celebrations of the anniversary being planned? With the demise of Liverpool Exchange Station (being replaced by Moorfields underground station) and the severing of the through line at Ormskirk, how possible would it be to run say a commemorating steam hauled train? South of Ormskirk it would clearly be difficult but north from Ormskirk looks to me to be very much a serious prospect.

Here’s hoping………