Merseyrail’s Northern Lines – Posting 1 – The Ormskirk Line

A selection of scenes from Merseyrail’s Liverpool – Ormskirk line:-

Please click on the photos to enlarge them

Merseyrail's Kirkdale Motive Power Depot with Kirkdale Station in the background.

Merseyrail’s Kirkdale Motive Power Depot with Kirkdale Station in the background.

Aintree Station at night

Aintree Station at night

Maghull Station

Maghull Station

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

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

Pedestrian and road bridges where Poverty Lane crosses the line north of Maghull Station.

Pedestrian and road bridges where Poverty Lane crosses the line north of Maghull Station.

The entrance/exit of Ormskirk Station at night.

The entrance/exit of Ormskirk Station at night.

Ormskirk Station at night.

Ormskirk Station at night.

Photos 1, 3, 5 & 7 are also amongst my Flickr photos at:-

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

Maghull – Remember the old Ribble circular buses in the 1970’s?

Maghull Station in the 1970's

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

I scanned this from a print that generous friends presented to me at Christmas.

Maghull’s M4 and M5 circular buses are shown awaiting passengers in the interchange area of of Maghull Station. Note they are were termed ‘Road/Rail Link’ buses back then on the destination blinds.

Since then of course the interchange area has been redeveloped although for bus users and even car drivers dropping people off probably not for the better. Now the buses sit where cars are supposed to pick up and drop of friends and family, forcing cars to drop off folks where the bus stops are! Of course the buses move to the bus shelters when the appointed time arrives but on a cold, wet day being stood there whilst yards away a nice warm bus is also stood there with its doors closed is frankly a pain.

A 231 circular bus parked in the drop off area on 28th December 2015

A 231 circular bus parked in the drop off area on 28th December 2015

What’s more I have even seen bus drivers blow their horns at cars that have dropped off folks by the bus shelters and are in the way of the buses. At face value the obstruction of the shelters by cars is wrong. However, bearing in mind that bus drivers also seem to take exception to cars being in the drop off area, when they want to park their buses there, the buses are actually the cause of cars needing to use the bus shelter area!

By the way I have tested this out for myself on a few occasions when I have been picking someone up from Maghull Station. On one memorable day I parked behind a bus in the drop off area only for another bus to park alongside me so I could not get out. I assume the driver was upset that I was where he wanted to park his bus, yet I was parked where I was supposed to be! Why Merseytravel have never sorted this muddle out properly I do not know. it’s not as if they don’t know what’s going on.

Back in the 1970’s the buses waited their passengers right outside the station entrance so progress seems to have made things worse not better for users of the circular buses.

The photo is also amongst my Flickr photos at:-

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

Maghull – Consultation response on Town’s 2nd and new railway station

I posted about the public consultation event held at Maghull Town Hall last month on this blog site. My original posting (and a follow-up one) can be read via the links below:-

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

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/12/07/maghull-name-new-station-maghull-moss-side/

After the event I filled in a Merseytravel consultation form with a few ideas of my own and those brought to my attention by residents. The responses of Merseytravel to the issues that I commented on in my submission are below:-

Dear Mr Robertson

Thank you for your suggestions for Maghull North station following the recent public information event. I am pleased to hear that you found the event helpful and the staff also friendly. It was well attended and there was good discussion about the project.

There is no intention to rename Maghull with the suffix “Hornby”. There would be a significant cost involved in changing systems to accommodate any new name which have implications within the rail operations industry as well as the public facing side of railways. This includes notifications to international organisations and websites.

The drawings shown at the public information event were indicative and intended to stimulate discussion from the public. The designs are not yet sufficiently advanced to show intended / desired minor details, colours and finishes. Those will be shown in the planning application which will be developed once the public comments have been digested and considered. I am sure that you will appreciate that we did not wish to unnecessarily spend resources on producing images that might have been significantly amended after the public event.

At present there are no proposals to modify the 231 to 234 group of bus services but there will be changes to travel opportunities will gradually evolve when the station comes on line and the housing developments in the area become occupied.

With regard to the station name, it has been called “Maghull North” for many years in its various iterations. This has been a logical working title and one that “does what it says on the can”. A final decision will need to be made in due course and I can understand your desire to propose “Moss Side” as an identifier recognising the work done by the hospital previously located on the site. The name finally chosen will need to be clearly understood by visitors who are not too familiar with the area. A quick straw poll of colleagues who are based elsewhere in the north west suggests that “Moss Side” is more obviously known as a district in Manchester which had some notorious chapters in its history in the late 20th Century. Whether or not that association could be misconstrued at Maghull needs to be considered in more detail.

Yours sincerely

Merseytravel’s
Corporate Engagement Team

**********

Some disappointing responses here and it does make you wonder whether Merseytravel and their partners (Network Rail & Merseyrail) really do want to hear alternative views at all. Seems some things are sadly set in stone.

Maghull in Bloom – Day of Judgement for 2015

Sheila and I went along to the excellent end of judging party of the Maghull in Bloom and Maghull Station Volunteers this afternoon.

Beautiful barrier baskets on Westway.

Beautiful barrier baskets on Westway.

No one but the North West in Bloom judges know how well Maghull performed this year, as the results will not be published until the autumn, but there is no doubt that the growing band of ‘bloomers’ have been pulling out all the stops they can to improve Maghull and its railway station.

A blooming Maghull Station

A blooming Maghull Station

Having spent many years as a Maghull councillor working with the volunteers I now find myself (with Sheila) as one of their volunteers and I hope that volunteering will be just as enjoyable as helping them as a councillor.

Maghull Nostalgia – Maghull Station Car Park

Until the early 1990’s Maghull Station car park was nothing more than rough ground that had been cleared of the old railway sidings with not much else done. In wet weather it was all puddles and water filled ruts:-

IMG_0004

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Of course since then the car park has been properly surfaced and extended and it is still too small to cope with demand! But the Station and interchange area is now awash with colour since Maghull Station Volunteers took it over a few years ago.

From ruts and puddles to this - big changes in the space of 20 years.

From ruts and puddles to this – big changes in the space of 20 years.