Wirral Railway


Wirral Railway

The Wirral Railway (WR) was incorporated in 1863 as the Hoylake Railway (HR), with powers to build lines from Birkenhead to New Brighton, and to Parkgate on the western side of the Wirral Peninsula; the latter line was not built. Between 1872 and 1882 the HR was renamed twice, and extensions of the line from Hoylake to West Kirby and to Seacombe in Wallasey were authorised. The line was incorporated as the "Wirral Railway" in 1882.

Route

The lines ran from Birkenhead Park to West Kirby, with branches to New Brighton and Seacombe. The Railway's services were mainly passenger, as they were suburban lines that also carried daytrippers to seaside resorts. Birkenhead Park station had a cross-platform connection with the Mersey Railway's electric trains under the River Mersey. All the stations on the line were very close together, in order to serve the population of the north Wirral. The total length of line was thirteen and a half miles.

Grouping

The Wirral Railway became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway at the Railways Act 1921 Grouping.

Electrification

In 1938 parts of what had been the Wirral Railway were electrified, with electric trains running to both New Brighton and West Kirby. The trains operated through the Mersey Railway Tunnel to Liverpool, and now form part of Merseyrail's Wirral Line. The branch to Seacombe (which was never electrified) later closed, and its route was used for the approach road to the Kingsway Tunnel, which opened in 1971.

Archaeology

WIRRAL RAILWAY- Archaeology - 'The Railway that never was!'.------------------------------------------------------------An iron track marker was unearthed in Aspendale Road, Tranmere, in the summer of 2006, by Mike Dennis the Site Manager, FAWLEY CONSTRUCTION, and his team. The embossed letters, N.W. & L. Ry. referred to the North Wales and Liverpool Railway. The letters column of the Birkenhead News at that time, revealed that a line was proposed from Birkenhead Central Station, via a tunnel, to the rears of Aspendale Road, Derby Road and Victoria Road. The line was to have continued to the other side of Borough Road, by the now demolished College, to Woodchurch Road, and on to the existing Wirral line at Woodchurch.

The lay-out of Aspendale Road and Maybank Road was such as to allow room for the railway line, and this was pointed out in a letter to the Birkenhead News, which also reported that a similar track marker to the one in Aspendale Road had been found around Holm Lane (Prenton - Oxton). Possibly, the engineers had been considering the constructing of anothertunnel, under Oxton hill, to Borough Road.

Ironically, the line is more needed today than at the time of its design, because of the expansion of the town and the building of the main hospital at Arrowe Park.

C.P. Milne. (2006)Article Location - Birkenhead Central Library.

ee also

* Suburban electrification of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway

External links

* [http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~pstoog/trains/company/w/company_wir.htm The Wirral Railway]


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