A look back at the Mersey Railway

Oh, I do like a bit of railway history especially if it involves Nottinghamshire or Merseyside. So imagine my delight when Phil Rimmer shared some very interesting photos with me regarding the Mersey Railway which he found and purchased on a stall at the National Model Railway Exhibition at Alexandra Palace about 5 years ago. Interestingly, Phil’s grandfather Thomas, on his Dad’s side, was once Station Master at Southport and with a name like Rimmer a Southport connection is of course no surprise.

Well here goes with the photos, with any copyright issues being noted where I know them. Any background that other railway enthusiasts can fill in will be most welcome of course.

Mersey Railway No.13 Brunlees at Rock Ferry

The hand stamp on the reverse of this photo says Mr F Dean of St Annes on Sea so it could be his copyright?

Mersey Railway No.6 Fox. This is an old postcard noted as F Moore’s Railway Photographs

Mersey Railway EMU entering Birkenhead Central on train from Rock Ferry 15 May 1956

The copyright for this photo is noted as Rail Archive Stephenson (Photomatic) N431

A postcard noted as F Moore’s Railway Photographs.

Phil has given me this note associated with the photo above – The reference to Broughton Colliery on the wagon is interesting. This might have been taken on the Birkenhead-Wrexham line. There was a coal seam under the River Dee with mines at Broughton and Mostyn on the Welsh side and at Burton and Ness on the Wirral side.

6851 as N0. 15 BND Dk 23-09-23

There are no notes on the reverse of this photo other than noted in the caption.

So there you have it, these Wirral Railway photos and postcards were brought together and framed by a person unknown possibly many years ago. They were rescued by Phil who has another railway connection with Merseyside – ‘My grandad’s Father was a waggoner, moving goods between Birkenhead and Liverpool Docks by horse and waggon, using ferry then tunnel. Grandad told me that goods trains did sometimes use the closed Seacombe branch but I’ve never read that anywhere.’

Do Mersey Railway historians out there have any background information to share or do they have any input with regard to Phil’s oral family memories?

Note – Click on each photo to enlarge

Merseyrail back in 1977

I recently picked up an old publicity map of Merseyside’s local railway network published in 1977 at a time when it was being substantially redeveloped as an underground railway within Liverpool City Centre.

Merseyrail Network

Click on the map to enlarge it

You can see from the main map that the electrified services only reached Rock Ferry back then on one of the Wirral Lines (in Green). Extensions were subsequently constructed to both Chester and Ellsemere Port in later years. An additional station also appeared along this line at Bromborough Rake and a further one at Overpool on the Ellsemere Port extension. Conway Park Station is an addition to the Network too. Upton-By-Chester Station has since been replaced by Bache Station about half a mile away from it.

The Northern Line line (in Blue) now terminates in Liverpool’s southern suburbs at Hunts Cross. This extension from Liverpool Central Station (which was an overground station until the 1970’s but is now underground) along the tracks of the former Cheshire Lines Committee was yet to be completed at the time the map was drawn. Also, this southern end of the Northern Line gained a new station at Brunswick (first stop out of Liverpool) whilst Garston Station has since been replaced by Liverpool South Parkway.

Of course the former Liverpool Exchange Station was lost as a consequence of this 1970’s redesign of Merseyside’s railway network and it was replaced by Moorfields Station which is close to it but underground.

The presently named Rice Lane Station on the Liverpool – Kirkby Northern Line (in Blue) was called Preston Road Back then.

Merseyrail map

The next significant addition to the Merseyrail Network of electrified lines will be the soon to be constructed Maghull Station on the Northern Line to Ormskirk. It’s name clearly identifies its location i.e. north of the present Maghull Station which is beyond its capacity at rush hours.

Just a bit of recent Merseyside railway history, please feel free to comment particularly if I have got anything wrong.

Buses hitting bridges – How on earth does a bus driver not know the height of their bus?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/rail-replacement-bus-causes-wirral-8238825

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above:-

Rock Ferry bus bridge crash

These stories pop up every now and again but why do they happen? Surely bus drivers should know the height of their bus and whether it will fit under a bridge. Good job no one was on the top deck of this bus!

For K1 the mini-bus driver.