Birkenhead Woodside railway station


Birkenhead Woodside railway station

Infobox UK disused station
name = Birkenhead Woodside
manager = GWR & LNWR Joint
line = Chester and Birkenhead Railway
locale = Birkenhead
borough = Wirral
platforms = Five
start = 31 March 1878
end = 5 November 1967|

Birkenhead Woodside was a railway station at Woodside, in Birkenhead, on the Wirral Peninsula, England.

History

Background

Birkenhead Woodside railway station was opened on 31 March 1878 to replace the increasingly inadequate passenger facilities provided at Birkenhead Monks Ferry station.citebook|title=The Birkenhead Railway|first=T.B.|last=Maund|publisher=The Railway Correspondence & Travel Society|date=2000|isbn=090-1115-878] citeweb|url=http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/stations/b/birkenhead_woodside/index.shtml|work=Subterranea Britannica|title=Disused Stations: Birkenhead Woodside ] It was built further inland than originally conceived, in order to avoid demolition of the Mersey ferries workshop, situated on the bank of the river. ]

In order to join up with the existing track of the Chester and Birkenhead Railway, a half mile-long tunnel from Woodside to alongside the existing Monks Ferry tunnel entrance, near Grange Lane, had been constructed using the cut-and-cover method. ]

tation Building

The station was a grandiose building, with two semi cylindrical roofs covering much of the platforms. However, given the size of the station, it only had five short (but wide) platforms, as much of the space was taken up by middle tracks and a roadway. ] The station building was known to local rail users as "the wrong way round", because for the majority of the station's life, its original rear entrance was used as the main booking hall, whereas Woodside's 'front' entrance was mainly used for handling parcels. This entrance, covered in a porte-cochere to allow travelling gentry to avoid inclement weather, faced the graving dock on the south side of the station. It had been intended that passengers disembarking from the nearby ferry terminal of the same name would use this entrance. Unfortunately, the ferry companies were slow at co-operating and when the tram terminus opened in front of the ferry terminal in the early 1900s, the decision was made to keep the small 'back' entrance a permanent fixture. This was very unfortunate, as passengers arriving at the station never got to see the huge sandstone fireplaces, decorative brick work and massive timber roof trusses holding up the roof of the intended booking hall, which has been described by Marcus Binney of SAVE Britain's Heritage as "a station of truly baronial proportions and being worthy of any London terminus".

ervices

Birkenhead Woodside was the terminus for services to West Kirby, Chester, Warrington and North Wales. ] Routes further afield included Great Western Railway (GWR) services to Chester General, Shrewsbury General, Wolverhampton Low Level railway station, Birmingham Snow Hill railway station, and London Paddington.

Demise

The station was very busy right up to nationalisation. However, as with many other stations and rail routes in the UK, the then Chairman of the British Railways Board, Dr Richard Beeching, found the need for the terminus superfluous, as most of the routes served could also be taken from Liverpool Lime Street station, on the other side of the River Mersey. ]

By early 1967, there were still six through trains on weekdays between Birkenhead Woodside and London Paddington. In March of that year, the route was effectively curtailed at Wolverhampton, as a result of the introduction of electric trains on the West Coast Main Line. ] At the same time, the last steam service from the station took place, in the withdrawal of through services to Birmingham. ]

Only the hourly DMU service to Chester and trains to Helsby remained to use the station. With the curtailment of these at Rock Ferry, ] the station closed to passengers on 5 November 1967 and was demolished within a couple of years.

Today, the only evidence of its existence is part of the station wall, a road bridge and the tunnel, which lay at the station throat. The gates of the station were reused at a house in Gayton. ] The rest of the land is now used as a bus depot.

ee also

*Birkenhead Central railway station
*Birkenhead Grange Lane railway station
*Birkenhead Monks Ferry railway station
*Birkenhead North railway station
*Birkenhead Park railway station
*Birkenhead Town railway station
*Hamilton Square railway station
*Chester and Birkenhead Railway
*Wirral Railway

References

Further reading

*
*

External links

* [http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/stations/b/birkenhead_woodside/index.shtml Birkenhead Woodside on Disused Stations]
* [http://www.wirraltransportmuseum.org Wirral Transport Museum website]


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