Click on the Champion newspaper article to enlarge it
Well said John, this is of course a vital part of giving Southport a healthy economic future. Without a quality rail connection to the east (to Wigan & Manchester) and indeed the north of the Town (to Preston) to match the one to the south Southport can’t develop to its true potential.
Back again to that old Ordnance Survey map of Liverpool that I picked up not so long ago from a second hand bookshop on Bewdley Station – Severn Valley Railway.
This latest posting about the map concerns the area of West Lancashire around Ormskirk, Skelmersdale and Burscough. Let’s have a look at it:-
Click on the map to enlarge it.
The two notable issues are the north and south Burscough curves that once connected the Southport – Wigan & Ormskirk – Preston lines and the branch line from Ormskirk to Skelmersdale and off the map St. Helens.
Firstly the Burscough curves. I have posted on this blog site many times about them and OPSTA the voluntary group who have been campaigning for them to be reconnected over many years. The advantage of reconnecting them is obvious – Southport – Preston trains would again become possible as would Ormskirk – Southport trains. In 1958 they were still in place and the track beds still are; all it needs is a little vision from local authorities (Sefton and West Lancashire) and Network Rail.
The old Skelmersdale Station – now long gone in the name of 1960’s progress!
The Skelmersdale rail connection issue is interesting as the original branch was taken out of use as Skelmersdale New Town was being constructed, indeed some of Skem’ is built on the old railway. It is hard these days to understand the mentality of building a town and deliberately not including it on the railway network but such was the thinking in the 1960’s. Now a £1b project is seriously being considered to reconnect Skem to a railway by taking a spur off the Kirkby – Wigan line into the Town. Will it happen? I don’t really know but some seem to think that it will and I certainly hope so too.
Click on the photo to enlarge it.
On the former West Lancashire Railway line from Southport to Preston and 3rd rail electrified too. Crossens is on the northern side of Southport.
A line like this would never have been shut these days; shame it did not survive the Beeching era. The alternative route for Southport – Preston trains would be/still could be via Burscough but this would need the the Burscough North Curve to be reinstated. Quite doable and the Ormskirk Preston and Southport Travellers Assn (OPSTA) is campaigning for that amongst other things. The Ormskirk – Preston line crosses over the Southport – Wigan Line at Burscough.
The photo was purchased from the National Railway Museum’s collection at York.
The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
Some nice shots via the two links above from the Liverpool Echo and the Flickr site of George C1.
I used to go to this show every year but have not been for 2 or 3 years. The weather was great for it yesterday and it looks set for another nice day today.
Here’s a link to a shot I took at the 2006 Southport Airshow:-
This show draws thousands of folk to the North West’s best seaside resort and the vast expanse of sand is perfect for such an event. Now if only the rail links east and north from/to Southport were better people would be able to get to the Town more easily! Oops, on soap box again!!