Maghull – Volunteers make Station look special but have you seen the weeds on the line?

A walk across the level crossing at Maghull Station recently brought this into sight:-

Network Rail have weed spraying trains that travel the rails of the UK dealing with the unwanted growth between and at the side of the rails and it looks like the Liverpool – Ormskirk Northern Line of Merseytrail must be due a visit.

Beautiful award winning flower displays at Maghull Station by Maghull Station Volunteers.

Considering the work Maghull Station Volunteers do to make Maghull an award winning station a little weed spraying by Network Rail would not go amiss me thinks.

The first photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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

Merseyside Transport Trust Open Day in Burscough – Memories of the 502’s

A 502 in LMS livery – They were constructed at the start of the 2nd World War!

Sunday 9th July was the annual open day of Merseyside Transport Trust’s huge warehouse type building in Burscough, West Lancashire.

A couple of the vintage buses on display

This is where they store their numerous old buses that previously operated across Liverpool and Merseyside but the draw for me was to check on the slow but determined progress to bring a Merseyrail Class 502 EMU back up to operating standard.

Are you old enough to remember the trains that ran on the Ormskirk – Liverpool and Southport – Liverpool lines until the late 1970’s?

The 502 (together with the Wirral line 503’s) were withdrawn in the late 1970’s being replaced by the present (and soon to be replaced themselves) 507/508 EMU’s.

The state of decay in the 502 that the Friends of the 502 Group are working on has to be seen to be believed and its going to take another 5 years and more, at least, for the volunteers to rebuild the unit – They have been working on it for 5 years already. Here’s some shots of 502’s in their operating days – both are from Southport – one taken in the station itself and one in the carriage sidings:-

And here are a couple of shots showing the present state of 502 unit being worked on:-

My recollection from rides into Liverpool from Maghull as a teenager and young man back in the day is that the 502 seats were really comfortable and they were filled with horse hair I assume.

And finally, here’s a link to the Friends of the 502 Group’s web site:-

www.class502.org.uk/

Maghull – Station land development starts

Land behind Maghull Station. Looking towards Melling Lane with the station platform building visible on the right.

The land behind the Liverpool bound platform of Maghull Station, that is also backed onto by houses in Grange Park and Hurst Road, has been cleared seeming for development to start.

Planning permission was given quite some time ago for a small housing development after years of tussling between potential builders/land owners and Sefton Council’s Planning Dept.

I recall that a previous attempt to cut down trees on the site some 20 years ago led to environmental objections to the felling. But things have moved on, rightly or wrongly depending on your point of view, and it seems that the land will soon be a building site.

View from Station platform looking towards Hurst Road

Merseyrail comes top in “Which?” Customer Satisfaction survey

Merseyrail Class 508 EMU at Maghull Station

Merseyrail Class 508 EMU at Maghull Station

Merseyrail has once again topped the Which?’s annual train survey, securing 72 per cent for overall satisfaction. This is the second time that the operator has scooped the highest score in this poll.

The survey comprises eight categories (the eighth category is toilets, which does not apply to Merseyrail) with a maximum of five stars awarded in each. Merseyrail was awarded the top ‘five star’ rating in a number of categories including reliability, frequency and reported punctuality.

Nice to know that our local rail network is doing so well but don’t tell our Jen. You can guarantee if she goes near Merseyrail she will have a poor experience in one way or another.

BTW, what happens if the guards go on strike over the new trains because they will not have guards on them? That’s not going to do Merseyrail’s performance stats any good at all, now is it.

With thanks to John Dodd for the lead to this posting

Maghull – What will that new railway station look like?

No this is not another posting about the 17th relaunch of the Maghull North Station project you will be glad to hear but it is about what the new station will potentially look like.

Just a recap first, it will be just north of Maghull’s School Lane where that road crosses the railway. The station will be between the yet to be constructed houses on what has become known as the Ashworth South Site (the site of the former Moss Side Hospital) and the present housing on Mersey Avenue. The station site looks like this at present (click on all the photos to enlarge):-

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station.  Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

Merseytravel Committee members were recently given a briefing on the design and progress of the project and I am indebted to Cllr. John Dodd for in turn briefing me about it.

Here are some up to date design images:-

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This one shows the School Lane overbridge to the left and the Mersey Avenue housing top/right.

This one shows the School Lane overbridge to the left and the Mersey Avenue housing top/right.

This one is looking westwards with Mersey Avenue at the top. The housing in the bottom two thirds of it is yet to be built on the Ashworth South Site.

This one is looking westwards with Mersey Avenue at the top. The housing in the bottom two thirds of it is yet to be built on the Ashworth South Site.

Access to the station car park will be via the School Lane roundabout that was constructed some years ago when the Ashworth South site was going to be used to build a new prison.

What can you say about the proposed station design? Well it’s modern, not particularly inspiring and so much like many new build stations these days. We seem to have forgotten what a railway station should look like. Indeed, we have a good example in the heritage buildings of the present Maghull Station and a little bit further down the same line towards Liverpool an example of how a once grand station (Aintree) has been modernised or is that vandalised! I will be posting about Aintree Station soon as I recently picked up a photo which really does show what has been lost.

But back to Maghull North. I hope it will be environmentally sustainable, solar panels, rainwater harvesting etc. but why can’t it be built with a bit more imagination in stone and brick to reflect say an updated version of the present Maghull Station? My posting from the public ‘consultation’ of not so long ago refers:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/11/24/maghull-north-station-project-exhibition-at-maghull-town-hall/

Ah well, it seems those of us who attended the consultation event, which was more like an information event, failed to move Merseytravel and Network Rail about design and heritage issues (to be honest we thought we were being given the tea and sympathy routine at the time) so it looks like it will be another modern box like building.

But, having said that, the new station will be very welcome and I say that as someone who has fought for it to be constructed for more years than I wish to recall. Let’s hope trains will be stopping there soon – within a year to 18 months?

Maghull – In Bloom volunteers strike gold again at awards ceremony

Maghull was awarded another Gold at the North West in Bloom awards ceremony, held recently in Southport which was attended by hundreds of volunteers from all over the North West.

The award winning work of the Maghull Station Volunteers on display at Maghull Station.

The award winning work of the Maghull Station Volunteers on display at Maghull Station.

This is the fourth time in 6 years that the town has received a prestigious gold award in the large town category.

While this award recognises the efforts of both Maghull in Bloom and the Station Volunteers, it also takes account of the work of other organisations and groups that help brighten up the town with colourful displays.

Flowering barrier planters at Maghull Square help smarten up the down at heel shopping centre.

Flowering barrier planters at Maghull Square help smarten up the down at heel shopping centre.

The Maghull in Bloom Volunteers also won 5 Neighbourhood Awards

Station Road – Level 5 Outstanding – This included the displays at the Station and Mogul pub as well as Tree View Court

Central Square – Level 4 Thriving

Maghull Leisure Centre Car Park and Courtyard – Level 4 Thriving

Maghull Fruit Meadow – Level 4 Thriving

Canal Litterpickers – Level 4 Thriving

Beautiful award winning flower displays at Maghull Station

Beautiful award winning flower displays at Maghull Station

The Station Volunteers also won Best Station in the region again as well as an outstanding Neighbourhood Award.

A circular prize winning flower planter on Maghull's Westway.

A circular prize winning flower planter on Maghull’s Westway.

Congratulations to all those who have helped out over the past year and lets hope that we can repeat this success next year.