Maghull – When its railway was a main line

I’m returning to the railway photos of former Maghull resident and British Rail employee Neil Reston. The 3 photo’s in this posting were all taken from the same spot where Poverty Lane Maghull crosses over the what is now the Ormskirk Line of Merseyrail but until the late 1960’s was a main line north to Scotland from Liverpool Exchange Station.

All 3 photos are of northbound trains with the lead photo being noted as a Glasgow train. They were all taken in 1968 which is right at the end of through trains using the line from for former Liverpool Exchange Station to Scotland.

I have more 1960’s photos to work my way through of railway scenes across Merseyside from the Neil Reston Collection which was kindly passed on to me by his family.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

A trip around Unilever’s Port Sunlight railway system in 1963

I continue to work my through the photographic collection of Neil Reston, a former BR employee, who lived in Maghull. His collection of mainly 1960’s black and white railway photos was generously passed on to me by his relatives.

This posting is all about a visit to Unilever’s Port Sunlight premises by the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society on 26th October 1963 and takes the form of a look at the small brochure produced for the visit and a number of photos. Enjoy……

Duchess of Kent loco

Control Centre

Control Point

Main line to factory

Lever Bros guads van

Lever Bros wagons

I wonder if anyone reading this posting will have been on that RCTS tour. It would be interesting to hear of experiences of the Port Sunlight railway system at any time.

Please click on each scan to enlarge it

Southport and its railways in 1959

I’m returning once again to the photographic collection of Neil Reston, a former BR employee, whose historic railway photos were passed on to me in 2020 by his family.

This posting concerns Southport where I’ve identified 6 photos which I think will have been taken in 1959 but stand to be corrected if anyone reading this blog thinks otherwise.

Southport Whit- Monday

Former West Lancs Railway Station

There is no commentary with the photos other than the last 2 where I have included the wording in the photo album. Maybe it would be a reasonable assumption to think that they may all have been taken on Whit-Monday 1959? If we do that the date would be Monday 18th May. In the last but one shot what became a Merseyrail Class 502 EMU can be seen. I think the loco number on the lead photo is 44896, if so, here’s a link to the class of engine:-

railuk.info/steam/getsteam.php?row_id=9838

Corrections and further information very much appreciated.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

1959 just north of Aughton Park Station

Here’s the latest instalment in my long term project to share the photographs in the Neil Reston Collection.

To recap the family of Neil passed the photos on to me last year and I’ve already blogged about the closed Sefton & Maghull, Lydiate and Altcar & Hillhouse Stations on the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway. Similarly I’ve blogged about trains on the Liverpool – Ormskirk Line at Mickering Lane/Sandy Lane in Aughton & Poverty Lane Maghull – all @1960.

Here are 2 photos which I think will both date back to 1959, although I’m not 100% sure about that. Both are looking back towards Aughton Park Station with the trains heading towards Ormskirk, whilst the view is towards Liverpool.

On the back of this photo it says – 4.20 Scotsman at Aughton Park Whit Monday

The note for this shot says – 5 car compartment stock

And for comparison here are a couple of Merseyrail era shots taken at Aughton Park Station in 2017:-

In the first modern shot you get a clearer view of the bridge (carrying Long Lane over the railway) which is only just visible in the 1959 shots. In the second, looking north, there seemed to be quite a weed problem in 2017.

Altcar & Hillhouse Station – 1964

This posting is about Altcar and Hillhouse Station on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway some 12 years after the line closed. The photo is from a collection held by former BR employee Neil Reston which has recently been passed on to me by his family.

The scene of ‘dereliction’ (the word used by Neil to describe it in his album) looks south towards the next station on the line (Lydiate) from the vantage point of the road over-bridge which still exists.

And a bit of background – The line and this station opened on 1st September 1884, the station closed for just over 2 years during the 1st World War and it closed for good on 7th January 1952. The line north of Altcar & Hillhouse (towards Southport) was lifted shortly after the line closed in July 1952, however there was rail access from the south to serve private sidings until 1960.

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Maghull – An insight into its long closed Cheshire Lines railway & station

Maghull presently has two railway stations both on the Merseyrail Northern Line to Ormskirk but it once had what was then the town’s second station on the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway which ran from Aintree Central Station to Southport Lord Street Station. The station closed on 7th January 1952.

I’ve blogged about this long lost station, which was actually called ‘Sefton & Maghull’, previously and here’s the most relevant link back to one of my postings:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2013/11/22/sefton-maghull-station-cheshire-lines-southport-extension-railway/

I return to the subject of this station now because of some historic photographs from the 1960’s which have been passed onto me by the family of former British Rail employee Neil Reston. Here they are:-

This shot is noted as being taken on 28th February 1960. It looks southwards in the direction of Aintree. It will have been taken from the road over- bridge.

This shot of roughly the same area was taken in 2017

This shot also looks south and it’s noted as being taken in March 1960. It looks to have been taken from Cabin Lane which is between Lydiate and Sefton & Maghull Stations so the shot looks towards Sefton & Maghull. The occupation bridge in the shot, which still stands, as a continuation of Bells Lane where it turns sharply right to become Altcar Lane. My thanks to Alan Bolton for correctly identifying the location. This posting has been updated to take this into account.

Here’s a shot looking south from Cabin Lane as it looks now:-

This shot is taken from the bridge parapet which carried Sefton Lane over the railway. It’s looking north in the direction of the next station on the line Lydiate. It’s dated 28th February 1960.

This final shot is also looking north and the track has been removed. It’s dated March 1960.

The present view of the former trackbed looking north, replicating the final photo, is this:-

The telegraph poles are all that remain.

My posting about Lydiate Station using photos from the same collection and taken at the same times is available via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2020/12/14/lydiate-remembering-its-long-lost-railway-station/