Maghull – It’s new railway station has snagging issues

A visit to Maghull North railway station yesterday morning, for a train to Liverpool, brought up a few issues, one of which must be driving the residents of Mersey Avenue round the bend!

A refer to the testing of the station announcements system; I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like it! Noisy yes, but also all kinds of weird noises and verbal statements. Each time it kicked in I had to stop a conversation with a chap stood next to me. Has it really been necessary to inflict this on the Mersey Avenue residents living yards away?

Secondly the lifts were still not working 9 days after the new station opened and I was told, by another passenger who had asked about them, that it would be a few more days yet before they were working. Was it sensible to open the station with non-working lifts bearing mind that there are quite a few steps down and indeed up from the platforms? Having said that a lovely young man from Merseyrail had just escorted an elderly lady down the steps to get her train, so assistance where required, is being provided.

And lastly a question. Is the footpath originally proposed to link to the new station from Park Lane going to be constructed? I have heard opinions expressed on this and you can probably guess the matter is still unclear to me.

Maghull – It’s 2nd railway station opens tomorrow 66 years after it lost its original 2nd station

Maghull lost its original 2nd railway station when it closed on 7th January 1952. That station (Sefton and Maghull) was on Sefton Lane and was a part of the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway.

I’m told by an old Maghullian in the know that the first talk of a 2nd station for Maghull, on the Liverpool – Ormskirk line, was just after World War 2, so its taken a while you might say to get it built.

The serious talk has been going on for I suppose over the last 25 years and it took some time to secure the station site. My good friend and former Sefton councillor for Maghull, Roy Connell, had a hand in that effort and the battle was won some 10 or more years ago when the rest of what was then called the Ashworth South Site* was down to have a prison built on it. That prison, which was never built of course**, is not to be confused with the temporary prison (HMP Kennet) which did operate from the former Ashworth East site for just under 10 years until quite recently.

Maghull North Station site – 27th September 2017

Construction of the new station (somewhat unimaginatively called Maghull North***) started last September and when it became apparent that it was due to open alongside the May 2018 railway timetable changes some of those in the railway know scratched their heads and said ‘that’s not going to happen’ or words to that effect. And indeed it did not and the opening was put back a month until 18th June.

This photo shows, on the left hand side the shortish back gardens of the Mersey Avenue houses.

The building of the new station has not been without considerable upset though for the residents of Maghull’s Mersey Avenue, who will have the station at the bottom of their back gardens. Noise, overnight working and the height/scale/position of the lift towers became huge issues and it led to demands for compensation payments which remain unresolved I understand. So it’s worth those standing on the platform of the new station taking a few moments to think of the troubles of the Mersey Avenue residents.

Having fought for the station to be built for more years than I care to recall I’m obviously pleased that it’s finally arrived. Now we want Merseyrail’s Liverpool – Ormskirk Line extended to its logical end of Preston. The present arrangement of a poor and unreliable service by Northern Trains onward from Ormskirk is a hang over from the decline of our railways in the 1960’s. I hope I’m still breathing when Northern are kicked off that line and we can all once again travel the length of the Preston to Liverpool railway.

Welcome Maghull North, your birth has been a long and tough one but you should be of benefit to many future generations.

* Former site of the world famous former Moss Side Hospital which pioneered the treatment of shell shock during and after World War 1.

** When the new prison was cancelled @2010 the site was designated for housing and presently the Poppy Fields and Pavilions housing estates are being built on the site.

*** Campaigners seeking to acknowledge the world groundbreaking medical history made at Moss Side Hospital wanted the new railway station to be called ‘Maghull Moss Side’ but the dead hand of railway administration was having none of it. They had made a decision and we were stuck with it so to speak just as they refused a quite sensible request to change the name of the old Maghull station (which was once called Maghull & Melling) to ‘Maghull Hornby’ in recognition of former Maghull resident and world famous toy maker Frank Hornby.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull – Maghull North Station building rises up

A look at the new station’s construction progress on 5th March brought up a similar view of the platforms, lift towers etc. as has been seen for quite a few weeks now. However, the big change has been the steelwork going up for the station building. The following couple of photos illustrate:-

Very little change here

A big change here

The station is still on target for opening in May. I bet the local civic dignitaries are jostling for the best position in the opening day photos shoot already:-)

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull – Latest Photos of Maghull North Railway Station

A Merseyrail Ormskirk to Liverpool train rushes past the construction site on 19th February. Seen from the Park Lane overbridge. The new Poppy Fields development is on the left and Mersey Avenue housing is to the right.

Maghull North’s controversial new twin towers (lift shafts) as seen from the School Lane overbridge also on 19th February.This shot reverses the view so Mersey Avenue is to the left and Poppy Fields to the right.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull – Thinking of those lift towers at the new Maghull North Station

Following my posting of a few days ago (see link below) and conversations with a few folk I wonder why cladding that blends in with the skyline and trees has not been considered to make the twin towers less noticeable for the sake of the nearby residents in Mersey Avenue?

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/01/26/maghull-lift-towers-up-for-new-station/

Surely such an option would be quite possible, so why not try to work it into the project before it’s too late? – in full consultation with the affected residents of course!

Maghull – Lift Towers up for new station

They are probably the most controversial part of the new station with the Mersey Avenue residents who will be living next to it:-

Presently the towers are just concrete boxes but they will look a little different when complete – something like this:-

Here’s another shot of the work on the new Maghull North station (taken on 25th January) from the Park Lane over-bridge:-

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

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/39905966511/in/dateposted/