Merseyrail – A cab ride from Hunts Cross to Southport

A Liverpool bound 507 EMU approaching the Crescent Road level crossing in Birkdale, Southport.

This Merseyrail cab ride from Liverpool (Hunts Cross) to Southport (shot on a rainy day) was filmed in 1990. It will of course be of interest to rail enthusiasts but also to those with an eye towards local history. It may only be 19 years ago but things change all the time. Enjoy via the link below:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mx1ATImcuE&feature=player_embedded

Hall Road Station

Altcar Rifle Range Station

Yes there really was once a station serving the rifle range but it closed for good in 1921.

The Station was only a third of a mile north of the present Hightown Station (on the modern-day Merseyrail Liverpool – Southport line) and if my eyes were not deceiving me I am sure I could make out the brickwork of one of the platforms when I cycled by the site recently.

The station opened in 1862 and was called ‘Hightown Rifle Station’ but was renamed ‘Altcar Rifle Range’ in 1886.

A small narrow gauge munitions tramway ran from the station into the firing range.

I recently purchased a photo of the station and here it is:-

Click on the photo to enlarge it

And here’s a present day view looking north towards where Altcar Rifle Range Station would have been from the road over-bridge where North End Lane crosses the line above Hightown Station’s platforms:-

Ainsdale – Where once two railways crossed each other

I walked a section of the Sefton Coastal Path the other day and found myself passing under a bridge (at the side of the Liverpool – Southport railway line) that I have driven over very many times.

I knew this was where the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway had once been carried over the top of the present Merseyrail line but what I had not realised is that the bridge abutments of the old railway bridge are still in use with a road deck replacing the previous railway one. The stone abutments are the clear give away as you can see in the two photos above.

Above is Southport Lord Street Station frontage in 2015 – below is a link to my Flickr Page where the photo is stored and where there’s some additional information.

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/22672957143/in/photolist-KBBSQX-JYVwpz-AxwQfc-MZEMmf-nqcZp7

The trackbed of the former railway is now a significant part of Southport’s Coastal Road from it’s southern boundary through Ainsdale and Birkdale to what would have been the entrance tracks to it’s former Lord Street Station, the frontage of which still stands.

The location where the two railways once crossed each other would have been not so far away from long gone Woodvale Station on the S&CLER and it is only a short distance south of the present Ainsdale Station.

The S&CLER closed completely on 7th July 1952 and the tracks were lifted shortly afterwards. Woodvale Station closed 7th January 1952 along with all the other stations on the line from Aintree Central to Southport Lord Street.

Bootle – It’s North Park

In conversation with my old chum Charles (Uncle Albert) Walker (95 years young) the other day he told me of his playing putting and bowls in North Park during his lunch hour when he worked for an electroplating company in Bootle.

This made me think about a park I have worked almost next to myself for over 20 years so I took this shot as it is now from a high vantage point. The road in the foreground is Marsh Lane, with Stanley Road forming the road along the right hand side of the park.

Bootle's North Park

Click on the photo to enlarge it

There’s no bowling green now and no putting green either. The park has a skateboard facility in the right background (partly behind the trees) and a significant part of it was given over to the building of Bootle Leisure Centre (and its car park) which was funded by City Challenge Money from the 1980’s I think.

Merseyrail’s Liverpool – Southport railway line (left hand top corner) is of course a constant over many generations but other things on this photo are relatively modern such as the Aldi store which replaced a Vauxhall car dealership in recent times if memory serves.

The photo is also amongst my Flickr photos at:-

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

Merseyrail’s Northern Lines – Posting 2 – The Southport Line

A random selection of photos taken along the Liverpool – Southport Line:-

Please click on the photos to enlarge them

Looking towards Bank Hall Station which is just beyond the road over-bridge.

Looking towards Bank Hall Station which is just beyond the road over-bridge.

This former railway tunnel once took a railway line under the Liverpool - Southport line at Bootle Strand Station. It is now a pedestrian walkway with the Strand Shopping Centre car park visible through it.

This former railway tunnel once took a railway line under the Liverpool – Southport line at Bootle Strand Station. It is now a pedestrian walkway with the Strand Shopping Centre car park visible through it.

A Class 507 EMU arriving at Formby Station from Liverpool.

A Class 507 EMU arriving at Formby Station from Liverpool.

Steps down to the platforms at Formby Station.

Steps down to the platforms at Formby Station.

Hillside Station clearly showing its LMS history.

Hillside Station clearly showing its LMS history.

A Liverpool bound 507 EMU approaching the Crescent Road level crossing in Birkdale, Southport.

A Liverpool bound 507 EMU approaching the Crescent Road level crossing in Birkdale, Southport.

Southport Station at night with a 507/508 EMU awaiting to depart for Liverpool.

Southport Station at night with a 507/508 EMU awaiting to depart for Liverpool.

Photos 1, 2, 4, 6 & 7 are also amongst my Flickr photos at:-

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

My 1st posting on the Liverpool – Ormskirk Northern Line is available via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/02/07/merseyrails-northern-lines-posting-1-the-ormskirk-line/

Formby – Another death at Fishermans Path level crossing

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/freshfield-level-crossing-victim-killed-10768110

The Liverpool Echo has the tragic story – see link above – and my posting of 8th August 2015 also carried the story of the previous tragedy – see link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/08/28/a-tragedy-on-our-merseyrail-network-freshfieldainsdale/

Clearly Network Rail and Sefton Council have to urgently find a way of replacing this dangerous level crossing with a bridge which is suitable for pedestrians (and cyclists) of all abilities.

If this latest tragedy is not the spur to take urgent action I don’t know what will be. Why on earth did Network Rail not come up with an acceptable bridge after they withdrew their previous planning application?