Liverpool Central High Level Station Remembered

Fronting onto Bold Street – the last part of the original Liverpool Central overground station still standing.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xUhxQ37Tqk

Photos of the former station are on You Tube – see link above.

Note – There’s a small issue on the video that requires explanation. Liverpool’s Exchange Station was not directly closed as part of the Beeching cuts, it went as part of the building of the Loop and Link underground section of the Merseyrail system, being replaced by Moorfields underground station near by. It did, however, lose it’s direct services to Scotland and the north which were transferred to Lime Street Station as a consequence of the Beeching cuts.

Merseyrail – It’s 40 years since Liverpool’s underground was completed

Who would have thought it was 40 or more years since we lost Exchange Station and indeed the overground Central Station in Liverpool for them to be replaced with new underground stations. Not forgetting of course that Liverpool had been blessed with an underground railway from the Wirral for many years prior to that – The Mersey Railway.

An old Mersey Railway tinplate sign which is on display at the National Railway Museum in York

And here’s what the new underground network looked like when completed in 1977. The Northern Line (Blue) was subsequently extended from Garston to a new terminus at Hunts Cross.

Click on the photo’s/graphics to enlarge them

Merseyrail back in 1977

I recently picked up an old publicity map of Merseyside’s local railway network published in 1977 at a time when it was being substantially redeveloped as an underground railway within Liverpool City Centre.

Merseyrail Network

Click on the map to enlarge it

You can see from the main map that the electrified services only reached Rock Ferry back then on one of the Wirral Lines (in Green). Extensions were subsequently constructed to both Chester and Ellsemere Port in later years. An additional station also appeared along this line at Bromborough Rake and a further one at Overpool on the Ellsemere Port extension. Conway Park Station is an addition to the Network too. Upton-By-Chester Station has since been replaced by Bache Station about half a mile away from it.

The Northern Line line (in Blue) now terminates in Liverpool’s southern suburbs at Hunts Cross. This extension from Liverpool Central Station (which was an overground station until the 1970’s but is now underground) along the tracks of the former Cheshire Lines Committee was yet to be completed at the time the map was drawn. Also, this southern end of the Northern Line gained a new station at Brunswick (first stop out of Liverpool) whilst Garston Station has since been replaced by Liverpool South Parkway.

Of course the former Liverpool Exchange Station was lost as a consequence of this 1970’s redesign of Merseyside’s railway network and it was replaced by Moorfields Station which is close to it but underground.

The presently named Rice Lane Station on the Liverpool – Kirkby Northern Line (in Blue) was called Preston Road Back then.

Merseyrail map

The next significant addition to the Merseyrail Network of electrified lines will be the soon to be constructed Maghull Station on the Northern Line to Ormskirk. It’s name clearly identifies its location i.e. north of the present Maghull Station which is beyond its capacity at rush hours.

Just a bit of recent Merseyside railway history, please feel free to comment particularly if I have got anything wrong.