Maghull & Aintree Stations

I’m member of the Mersey Railway Group on Facebook and every now and again I come across interesting old photos of our local railway stations. Here are 3 I’ve just seen for the first time. The copyright for each one is owned by John Tolson:-

Maghull Station – 10th March 1979

Maghull Station 13th June 1974

Aintree Station 11th August 1973

The first shot shows the former Maghull Signal Box (Removed in 1994, if memory serves) and the Station Master’s House, which having remained derelict for many a year is presently being renovated as part of the new housing development behind the Liverpool bound platform.

The last shot, of what used to be called Aintree Sefton Arms Station (Aintree Central was the adjacent Cheshire Lines Station), is interesting because some of the old tracks which served the Metal Box Factory (and before that the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway to Southport) were still is use back then as can be seen by the diesel shunter in the platform. The station still retained its platform canopy back then too. So sad that it was removed instead of being renovated.

The old Class 502 EMU rolling stock is evident in all 3 photos. The last remaining 502 two car unit is presently in a warehouse-type building in Burscough, owned by Merseyside Transport Trust, where it is painstakingly being restored by the Friends of the 502 Group

502 at Burscough – July 2018

Altcar & Hillhouse Station

I’ve always been fascinated by the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, which ran from Aintree Central Station to Southport Lord Street Station, and I’ve blogged about it many times before.

The other day I had the opportunity to purchase an old and undated photo of the former Altcar and Hillhouse Station on the line. I took the opportunity up and the photo is above:-

I should add that I do not know who, if anyone, holds the copyright to this photo but would be happy to acknowledge them if I receive information.

The station was the next one north of the former Lydiate Station, itself not in Lydiate but also in the Civil Parish of Great Altcar. Just north of the station was the junction with the Liverpool, Southport & Preston Junction Railway in effect a branch of the West Lancashire Railway. The next station on the S&CLER northwards being Mossbridge.

Altcar & Hillhouse Station opened in September 1884, it closed from January 1917 to April 1919 (due to the 1st WW) and closed altogether in January 1952 with the whole line closing in July 1952. However, whilst the line north of the station was lifted shortly after closure rail access from the Liverpool end was retained until 1960 to serve private sidings on the site of the station.

The road bridge visible in the photo is sit in situ and the trackbed is now a part of the Cheshire Lines/Trans Pennine Trail foot and cycle path.

Please click on the photo to enlarge it

Aintree – Removal of Copy Lane Cheshire Lines railway bridge

I came across this photo (see below) on the Mersey Railways group of Facebook and it is credited to Phil Hughes:-

At this point the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway and the Liverpool – Ormskirk – Preston Line paralleled each other between Aintree and Old Roan Stations. The other line can be seen behind the crane removing the Cheshire Lines bridge.

What I don’t know is the date when the bridge was removed – 1960’s?

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Talk on the Cheshire Lines Extension Railway at The Atkinson, Southport

I attended what turned out to be a packed out talk about the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, which ran from Aintree Central Station, through Sefton & Maghull & Lydiate Stations and on through rural West Lancs to terminate at Southport Lord Street Station. The talk was given by Keith Hick on 13th February and when I say packed out I mean it! The studio at The Atkinson seats 260 we were told and they had to put extra chairs out to accommodate everyone wanting to hear and see it. Seems there are many railway enthusiasts in and around Sefton Borough:-)

Closed now since 1952 the line was never profitable but there were people in the audience who clearly still recall it. I’ve blogged about the line many times and one of my postings was about Lydiate Station signal box – it’s accessible via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/08/01/lydiate-signal-box-southport-cheshire-lines-extension-railway/

Keith Hick is a wonderful story teller and the huge number of photos that he produced brought out many which I had not previously seen despite my having a big interest in the line for many years. He also brought along a beautiful steam engine nameplate:-

The plate is from Ex-LMS rebuilt Patriot Class 4-6-0 No 45527 ‘Southport’. Here’s a link to photo of the loco and more information about it:-

www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/lnwra3630.htm

All in all a great and well received talk by Keith Hick, indeed the staff at The Atkinson told us it was the largest audience they had ever had for a local history talk.

Note: Peter Kendrick advises me that Lydiate Station was demolished (probably by Rainfords) in May 73.

Maghull North Station – Latest construction photos – It’s also 66 years since Maghull lost its original 2nd Station

Here are a couple of photo’s taken on Sunday 14th January of work being undertaken on the site of the Town’s new and soon to be second railway station, which is due to open in May of this year:-

It is 66 years this month since Maghull lost its original second railway station on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway. That station was on Sefton Lane and it was called Sefton & Maghull.

Sefton & Maghull Station @ 1930 – Photo D Thompson

The station closed on 7th January 1952 and the site has been built over by what was originally the Koters factory.

The site of Sefton & Maghull Station in 2017

The only reaming thing associated with that station is what is now a hump in Sefton Lane. The hump was until not so long ago a bridge carrying the road over the old railway. It was too expensive to take away the whole bridge and ramps up to it so the open part, where the tracks originally were, was filled in by Sefton Council in the 1990’s. Here’s an old photo from when the bridge and its parapet wall was still in place – the copyright owner is unknown to me:-

So 66 years after losing it’s second railway station Maghull will get it back all be it on the same Liverpool – Ormskirk line as the present Maghull Station.

Click on the photos to enlarge them – The 2nd one from the top of this posting is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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

Ainsdale – Where once two railways crossed each other

I walked a section of the Sefton Coastal Path the other day and found myself passing under a bridge (at the side of the Liverpool – Southport railway line) that I have driven over very many times.

I knew this was where the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway had once been carried over the top of the present Merseyrail line but what I had not realised is that the bridge abutments of the old railway bridge are still in use with a road deck replacing the previous railway one. The stone abutments are the clear give away as you can see in the two photos above.

Above is Southport Lord Street Station frontage in 2015 – below is a link to my Flickr Page where the photo is stored and where there’s some additional information.

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/22672957143/in/photolist-KBBSQX-JYVwpz-AxwQfc-MZEMmf-nqcZp7

The trackbed of the former railway is now a significant part of Southport’s Coastal Road from it’s southern boundary through Ainsdale and Birkdale to what would have been the entrance tracks to it’s former Lord Street Station, the frontage of which still stands.

The location where the two railways once crossed each other would have been not so far away from long gone Woodvale Station on the S&CLER and it is only a short distance south of the present Ainsdale Station.

The S&CLER closed completely on 7th July 1952 and the tracks were lifted shortly afterwards. Woodvale Station closed 7th January 1952 along with all the other stations on the line from Aintree Central to Southport Lord Street.