Remember for former Liverpool – Glasgow trains from Exchange Station powering through Maghull on their way to Scotland via Ormskirk and Preston? Here’s a link to a video of one from 1967*, not long before they ceased to run:-
Merseyrail Class 508 EMU at Maghull Station
*The video title indicates 1950’s but you can hear from the commentary on this short video (and see from the livery on the coaches) that the year is 1967
After many years of decline, it looks like work has now started to rebuild Maghull Station’s Station Masters House as part of the redevelopment and house building project behind the Liverpool bound platform. Here’s a photo I took on Remembrance Day on my way into Liverpool:-
It’s said (by no lesser person than Les French Chairman of the Maghull based Frank Hornby Trust) that the railway buildings of Maghull Station were a probable inspiration for Maghull’s world-famous toy maker Frank Hornby who lived just yards away from the station and who caught the train to work there regularly. On that basis, the derelict Station Master’s house has sadly been an unfortunate stain on the Town’s character in recent years.
Here’s hoping for a more positive future for a historic railway building………
I decided to have a good look at what Network Rail and their contractors are up to whilst the Liverpool – Ormskirk Northern Line of Merseyrail has been shut down for enabling works to take place so the stations are ready for the new class 777 Stadler EMU’s in 2020. All the photos were taken on 5th November.
The first couple of shots show the ongoing platform works at Maghull Station:-
This next shot in effect shows why the works are being done at stations across the Merseyrail network:-
If you look carefully (it may be best to click on the photo to see it enlarged) you will see that the floor of the new trains will be level with the platforms and a small gap filler will come out when the train stops at a station. This is so that people with disabilities, wheelchairs, and bikes can be wheeled straight onto the new trains without the need for station staff to meet trains with portable ramps as at present with the current 507/508 trains.
Here’s a look back at Maghull Station from Poverty Lane and a look northwards from Poverty Lane in the direction of Maghull North Station. Clearly, other works were being undertaken during the shut down such as cutting back overgrowing trees:-
We then move on to the new Maghull North Station where I think that snagging work from the previous works was taking place. There was scaffolding around the lift towers but I could not get a close look as I was advised to leave the station by a member of Merseyrail’s staff. I had wandered onto the station footbridge and had not seen any warning signs but advised to leave I was. The following photo was taken looking back at the station from the Park lane overbridge:-
And finally a look north from the Park Lane overbridge in the direction of Town Green Station. Again other works were clearly taking place in the distance during the shut down of the line:-
Click on any of the photos to enlarge them
The once thickly wooded area behind the Liverpool bound platform of Maghull Station is now all but cleared ready for the housing development that has planning permission. Indeed, the land has had planning permission for a number of years but only recently has the site been fully cleared.
There was once a ‘refuge siding’ or ‘lay-by’ siding on part of this land just to the north of the station building (part of which can seen in the 2nd photo above) on the Liverpool bound platform. It was shown on a track plan for the station dated 1909 that I have seen but it was still there in the early 1960’s I’m told. I understand that it was finally removed around December 1963. It was used to store passenger rolling stock for early runs each day into Liverpool.
One of my favourite places to stop off whilst on a cycle ride locally is Scrummies Cafe at Treeview Court/Station Road in Maghull.
One wall of the cafe is all about the local area using historic photos and a great representation of an Ordnance Survey map painted directly onto the wall. It depicts Maghull as per the 1909 OS map.
I love OS maps and can spend hours looking at one so if you see someone in Scrummies staring vacantly onto the wall I’m taking about then you’ll know it’s me.
Oh and btw their bacon barms are great too.
Readers may remember all the fuss on the Maghull Community Facebook Page late last November when Michael Portillo was seen on Maghull Station. Well he was there and he was making a new episode in his long-running Great British Railway Journeys TV programme.
He was in Maghull because of it’s world famous former resident Frank Hornby and the programme to be aired next Thursday picks up on how model railways became so popular.
My dear friend Les French, who is Chairman of the Maghull based group The Frank Hornby Trust, will be seen in the programme talking with Michael Portillo.
This shot was taken whilst cleaning of the display cases was taking place in 2016.
Filming was done, at Maghull Station, at the grave of Frank Hornby in St. Andrew’s Churchyard and in the Frank Hornby Room of Meadows Leisure Centre although obviously we don’t know what will be in the edited final programme.
A great piece of model engineering
So remember 6.30pm Thursday 18th January.