After years and years of being talked about (some say it was first mooted after the Second World War!) Maghull is to finally get its long promised second railway station to be called quite unimaginatively ‘Maghull North’.
It will be on Merseyrail’s Northern Line from Liverpool to Ormskirk and will be sited between the two over-bridges on School Lane and Park Lane. Here’s the site before construction starts from both bridges:-
And here’s a shot looking from the Park Lane over-bridge towards the bridge on School Lane from which the first photo was taken:-
The most recent and successful campaigning for the new station goes back to the decision to close the former Moss Side Hospital. The site it occupied (also know these days as the Ashworth South Site and by the housing developer that has recently started building there as Poppy Fields) was down to be sold off. Here’s a couple of shots of the triangle shaped site which is bounded by Park Lane, School Lane and the railway line:-
Whilst houses are presently being built on Poppy Fields/Ashworth South the original plan was for a prison, possibly a Titan-type prison to be built there in 2007. Plans were drawn up but then the Government changed in 2010 and the prison idea was ditched. But it was whilst the plans were being processed for the prison that councillors of day, led by Roy Connell, waded in saying they wanted a site for Maghull’s second railway station secured via that process. They succeeded in that aim and despite the prison being ditched in favour of housing the station site was preserved from other developments. So that’s how the site was secured.
The next stage was to get Government to stump up a large amount of cash to build the station – it did. The rest of the cash would need to found locally and Merseytravel/Sefton Council had that task.
And the unimaginative station name? Well campaigners who know the historical significance of the former Moss Side Hospital did try to get a more appropriate name adopted but the railway powers that be were having none of it. One idea was rename the present Maghull Station as Maghull Hornby and the new one as Maghull Moss Side. I quite liked the historical ring of those names but railway authorities have no soul you know and probably little interest in local history. Moss Side Hospital was world renowned for its pioneering treatment of soldiers with shell shock during World War 1 and the world famous toy maker Frank Hornby lived literally yards away from the present Maghull Station. It’s really frustrating that two world-wide historical events/figures can be so easily ignored.
But despite a sadly missed opportunity of station names Maghull will soon be getting its second and much needed railway station as the present station is beyond capacity at peek times. Maghull North station should be open in 2018 we are told.
Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.