Wirral’s Old Railway Stations #13

Posted by Great Uncle Bimbo MBE on
Category: Old Railway Stations50 Comments

Here at Jammy Toast we have always had a fascination with the old railway lines and stations that abound around the Wirral. For example, did you know that the West Kirby line didn’t use to end at West Kirby but instead continued round and joined up with Hooton Station? There was also a line that continued on from Rock Ferry that went down to Monks Ferry and on to a station down at Woodside. We have recently been researching (a big thanks to the Disused Stations website for much of the information!) just where all these lines and stations were situated, when they opened and closed and also the state of any remaining sites today. The whole subject is a fascinating insight into a past age of steam which has interested people for many years

Today we are commencing our look at the two old stations which formed the Seacombe Branch Line. The route to Seacombe left the New Brighton line at Seacombe Junction. Heavy engineering work was required to drive the line through a sandstone ridge and on towards the banks of the River Mersey at Seacombe. The line opened on 1st June 1895. Although now demolished, the route of the branch line now forms the approach road to the Kingsway Road Tunnel that opened in 1971. The branch line only consisted of two stations (see map below); Liscard & Poulton and Seacombe & Egremont.

[Click on picture to enlarge]

The Seacombe branch, on which Seacombe & Egremont station stood, was the last addition to the Wirral Railway Company’s network of lines that stretched from Birkenhead to West Kirby and New Brighton. The Seacombe route left the New Brighton branch at Seacombe Junction and arrived at the west bank of the Mersey at Seacombe Ferry Terminal. The line opened on 1st June 1895.

Seacombe Station was located on the north side of Church Road, to the west of Borough Road close to the Seacombe Ferry Terminal which offered good connections to Liverpool. Church Road curved around to the north and passed over the line at the stations western end by means of a large single span iron bridge. At the time of opening the station was provided with two timber-built platforms that provided three platform faces. The southernmost platform which was adjacent to Church Road had a single platform face and the northernmost was an island platform. The station was accessed from Borough Road on which stood a single storey timber building at the eastern end of the southernmost platform.

A signal box located on the north side of the line at the west end of the station, adjacent to the Church Road bridge, controlled train movements.

The reason why the station was timber-built and very basic was because the WR intended to build a more substantial station adjacent to the actual ferry terminal. The idea was never realised and Seacombe Station was to remain much the same throughout its life.

At the time of opening the station was served by trains that ran to West Kirby. Nineteen trains per day ran in each direction on weekdays at half hourly intervals with nine on Sundays. Passenger numbers were high with over 2000 being carried over the first weekend of operation.

From 1897 the WR introduced a train service to New Brighton which was known locally as the ‘Seacombe Dodger’ but was never really very successful as it took a somewhat indirect route to the    resort which lies only a few miles to the north of Seacombe by road. In 1899 it ran only during the afternoons and evenings and it was designed to cater for tourists travelling from Liverpool on the Ferry. Competition from the Wallasey Borough tramways from 1902 did not help. The service survived until 1910.

On 1st May 1898 train services of the Wrexham, Mold & Connahs Quay Railway (WM&CQR) that linked Wrexham to Bidston were, with the agreement of the WR, extended to run through to    Seacombe. By this date the WM&CQR had effectively become part of the Great Central Railway (GCR) but the situation was not formalised until 1904. The Wrexham trains proved very popular with Liverpool residents who used them to enjoy a day out in the Country.

Seacombe goods yard was half a mile west of the passenger station on the west side of Oakdale Road. It comprised five sidings on the north side of the line, one serving a cattle dock and pens. There was also a 5-ton crane and two weigh bridges.

On 1st July 1901 Seacombe Station was renamed Seacombe & Egremont.

The 1904 Handbook of Stations listed Seacombe & Egremont as being able to handle passengers, general goods, parcels, furniture vans, livestock, horse boxes and furniture vans. The goods yard had a 5-ton lifting crane. In 1904 private sidings also served the Seacombe Pressed Brick and Tile Works, Wallasey Urban District Council gas works and the English McKenna Process Company.

By 1906 there were 13 GCR departures on weekdays from Seacombe between 7:50am and 8:55pm. Five of the departures went to Chester Northgate, one to Buckley Junction with the remainder serving Wrexham. The WR ran 16 trains on weekdays from Seacombe to West Kirby in 1906.

The July 1922 timetable showed 25 Monday-to-Friday departures. On Saturdays there were 24 departures and on Sundays eight.

In 1923, Seacombe & Egremont Station became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) and the former GCR train service became part of the London North Eastern Railway (LNER). By 1929 the LMS had reduced the Seacombe to West Kirby service to one train per hour in each direction but the LNER continued to offer an extensive service to Chester Northgate and Wrexham.

In the early 1930s the LMS drew up plans for the electrification of the former WR lines between Birkenhead Park, West Kirby and New Brighton. The Seacombe Branch was not considered. In 1938 the electrification was complete and it allowed passengers to travel direct between Liverpool and West Kirby as there was an end on connection between the LMS and the under-river Mersey Railway at Birkenhead Park. This made travelling by Ferry to Seacombe to connect to a West Kirby train far less attractive. Passengers could also travel from Liverpool to Bidston by train and connect directly into the LNER service. Seacombe & Egremont station suffered as a result and the West Kirby service was withdrawn on 12th March 1938.

During the early years of the Second World War, Seacombe & Egremont station was used to evacuate thousands of local Children to the safety of the Countryside.

On 1st January 1948 Seacombe & Egremont station became part of the nationalised British Railways [London Midland Region] (BR[LMR]). The BR[LMR] summer timetable showed 11 departures Monday-to-Friday. On Saturdays there were an extra two departures. On Sundays there was a service of three trains in each direction.

From 5th January 1953 the station reverted to being simply Seacombe. During the early years of the 1950s the island platform was reconstructed using concrete sections backfilled with gravel. A new entrance was provided which led directly onto the platform and the southernmost platform was taken out of use. In the late 1950s thirteen trains ran from Seacombe to either Wrexham or Chester on weekdays with only three trains on a Sunday running to Wrexham only. In 1959 BR[LMR] decided to close Seacombe and Liscard & Poulton stations and divert the Wrexham and Chester trains to New Brighton.

The last service left Seacombe for Wrexham on Sunday, 3rd January 1960 and the station closed to passenger services. The line lingered on for a few more years as a goods line but the last services ran in June 1963.

After closure much of the alignment of the Seacombe branch was used to form the Kingsway Road Tunnel that opened in 1971 but the station site itself was used for a housing development.

  • Seacombe Station
  • Seacombe Station
  • Seacombe Station
  • Seacombe Station
  • Seacombe Station

The only evidence of the station that remains today is a small section of sandstone wall on the roundabout at Seacombe Terminal.

Archive Posts
This post continues from posts that were on the original version of Jammy Toast. If you wish to read the earlier posts in this series, you can now find them over on our archive website which can be found here at Classic Toast. The previous post in this particular series [Wirral’s Old Railway Stations #12] can be found here.
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Posted By

Great Uncle Bimbo MBE

I was given to Davidd back in 1960 in St Catherine’s Hospital when I was presented to him as a “birth” day present. I came home with him and have been with him ever since. We grew up together and, unlike many other people, he has never decided he was too old to have a teddy bear. I am the oldest bear here at Jammy Toast.

50 Comments on “Wirral’s Old Railway Stations #13”

  1. If you look at film of old trains in New York they look just like the wooden ones in the 1938 photo above. I wonder if we bought them from America or vice-versa.

  2. Can’t believe people genuinely full on believe in star signs tho. Coming out of a fanny on a certain day of the year does not effect your future personality hahahahaha fucking grow up.

    Soz my Scorpio spirit makes me say things like this sometimes I don’t mean it!

  3. Rolf report Oct 7

    My humans have grown a big catmint bush in an old chimney pot in the garden. I love to jump on top of the pot & take in the delicious aroma. Mind you, it is catmint, not catnip. So whilst it gives me pleasure, it doesn’t give me a high or make me crazy.

    Rolf x

  4. “It’s a Heffalump!” thought Piglet nervously, and then he said: “Tra-la-la,” as if he had just thought of it. But he didn’t look round, because if you look round and see a Very Fierce Heffalump looking down at you, sometimes you forget what you were going to say.

  5. It was sunny yesterday so I sat outside the veranda and waited for my human. I love being an allotment cat, it’s the sort of life I used to dream about before I came here. I have food, freedom and lots of love from humans. What more could I want?

  6. I know you should never wish time away but I won’t be sorry when 2020 is over. Thanks for the music you’ve left us Eddie… you will always be a legend!

  7. I was just thinking about Strippers.

    All the little strip joints with ladies doing private dances and gaining tips, what has happened to them during the Covid crisis?

    No furlough, must be pretty tough.

    I may consider taking one in to live with me like Lineker with a immigrant…

    Do my bit.

    Anyway, as you were…

  8. Just left me mate a voicemail knowing her earphone is broke and she has to put me on loudspeaker Saying her std tests are all positive and now I’m scared incase she’s with her fella an he volleys her into next week.

  9. Bit of a fucking mess isn’t it? When only TWO political parties are able to be elected in this clusterfuck of a political system and the Tory party hasn’t got any ‘conservatives’ in it anymore and the Labour Party has given up ‘socialism’ – it’s like voting for an array of shite.

  10. The Conservatives are using COVID as an alibi to further privatise the NHS in plain sight of everyone….there shouldn’t be a choice between cancer & other care & covid, they should be able to treat everything. The Tories are loving covid!

  11. Some fella in r shop just put a bottle of wine down the sleeve of his jacket. 1 of the lads has legged it after him and took it off him thinking he was grafting.

    Turned out the poor cunt only had one arm, so he was holding that in the sleeve while he looked for other stuff hahah

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