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
I mentioned a few days ago (see link below) that I had come across an old Ordnance Survey Map of Liverpool from 1958.
The map also covers Southport so let’s have a look at that part of the map which I have scanned:-
Click on the map to enlarge it.
The most noticeable thing is that the former West Lancashire Railway line from Southport to Preston is clearly still up and running. No way would that line have been closed now if it had only just survived the Beeching era. It was of course 3rd rail electrified from Southport to Crossens.
The trackbed of the former Southport and Cheshire Lines Extension Railway from Aintree is also just about visible along the coastline. It had been closed in July of 1952 and is now Southport’s Coastal Road from Ainsdale to near the old Lord Street Station. It also serves as the Cheshire Lines Long Distance Footpath which is part of the Trans Pennine Trail to Hull.
The former Liverpool, Southport & Preston Junction Railway (LS&PJR) line from Meols Cop/Blowick to Hillhouse Junction (on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway) is still denoted as being in use as far as Shirdley Hill. Whilst the line closed in January 1952 it was retained as far as Shirdley Hill and used for the storage excursion carriages until 1964.
If readers want to no more about the West Lancashire Railway or indeed the LS&PJR there is an excellent book on it by J E Cotterall which was published by The Oakwood Press in 1982, that may be available in second hand book shops.
My 3rd posting based on this map will appear soon regarding railways around Ormskirk, Burscough and Skelmersdale.