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Guest flybyknight

St Helens Central to Junction line

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Guest flybyknight

There was once and still faintly is a goods line that connected Central and Junction stations together. Does anyone know why it is still there? It seems to me they are hanging on to it, ever so slightly. They have upgraded the bridge across the link way which it runs across and if you look over the fence at the newly reinvented Central Station they've kept the platform for that line! I think it would be profitable (and greener) for the town to put this line back in to service, especially when they are to build the new Saints stadium so close to it. I have asked various offices at St Helens council yet nobody seems to want to comment..

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That was not just a goods line. In 1964, you could get on the train at what was then Shaw Street and get off at the Junction, where you could get the train to Manchester. It was also a popular service with those of my contemporaries who were train spotters, as all the important main line trains ran through the Junction.

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This thread confused me. When you referred to Central Station, I thought you meant the one that used to be between where Lincoln House is and the Town Hall. I now realise that Shaw Street Station has been christened Central. I thought there still was an active branch-line from there to the Junction Station but there again I left St Helens in 1967

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Guest flybyknight

Thanks again Griffin for your help, a very interesting map indeed. We still need more info on why this section of track is still there. Where do I go to find out more about this and who might have the official answers? C'mon Peeps someone on this site must know! Let's get our heads together. smile.gif

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The track you mention has been gone for quite a while now.

it was ripped up after the bridge in Peasley Cross Lane and I think only one line existed after there to service Hays Chemicals but I'm not sure if it still exists (I'll check next time I pass it)

Anything after the branch to Hays would cost a fortune to reinstate.

The bridges over Lancotts Lane, Ellamsbridge Rd and Robins Lane are in a state and would probably have to be re-built, after that point (Robins Lane) nothing exists of the track route which would have gone through what was know as 'The Pudding Bag' and is now a few business premises and yards.

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I know that two tracks still run as far as the bridge at Peasley Cross, not sure how much further they still go. Regarding possible future use.. I remember when they started work on the new Central station a year or two back, they laid quite a bit of new track and replaced all the pointwork, including the points that link to the rail route in question. I can't see any reason for doing this if the line was 'dead'. Surely they would have just lifted the original points, joined the two main lines directly together and that would have been that. So, , there must be some use for this route planned for the future or someone has just wasted a lot of money on a couple of useless points..

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Guest flybyknight
I know that two tracks still run as far as the bridge at Peasley Cross, not sure how much further they still go. Regarding possible future use.. I remember when they started work on the new Central station a year or two back, they laid quite a bit of new track and replaced all the pointwork, including the points that link to the rail route in question. I can't see any reason for doing this if the line was 'dead'. Surely they would have just lifted the original points, joined the two main lines directly together and that would have been that. So, , there must be some use for this route planned for the future or someone has just wasted a lot of money on a couple of useless points..

 

Now that's what I'm talking about, thank you very much, appreciate the reply!

 

EDIT.

 

Now can any body get a photo copy of the jobsheets, (LOL)

Edited by flybyknight

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I remember when they started work on the new Central station a year or two back, they laid quite a bit of new track and replaced all the pointwork, including the points that link to the rail route in question. I can't see any reason for doing this if the line was 'dead'.

Maybe they can use that line to take a train off the main line (in breakdown/emergencies) or for shunting carriages about.. who knows.

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Thats a fair point, but they have shunting/emergency sidings behind the signal box.. Like you say, who knows.. Its not like railtrack haven't wasted money before..

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Guest flybyknight

I may have a walk up there this afternoon, perhaps take some photographs. I may even buy some wellys from Matalan or somewhere so I can navigate Warrington old road, as it is waterlogged under the bridge. I'd like a few pics of it before they fill it in or block it off for ever!

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I just looked at that on Google Earth. I used to drive up and down Warrington Old Road a lot when I worked for the gas board, and also that back road that connected W.O. Rd. to Watson Street (where the Linkway is now). It's hard to believe somewhere that was unused for so many years could change so completely.

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Guest flybyknight

Look at it now Griffin, I took this from my travels before. (I think I should have bought some fishermans wellys) biggrin.gif

 

PICT0070.jpg

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It doesn't take long for nature to re-assert itself. There was a huge amount of land around the old gasworks which lay disused for many years. An interesting contrast to the last decade or so, when they've built on every little bit of land that they could get hold of, including roads which we managed without for long enough. I miss crawling down Marshalls Cross Road and Peasley Cross Lane at 1mph (when it moved) on a Friday afternoon.

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Guest flybyknight

Here's a couple of pics from my little walk down the lines this affy. The line stops abruptly underneath Baxters bridge, unfortunately, so I ended todays mooch there. I took quite a few pics this afternoon. I don't know if I'm allowed to post them all here, so I'll just put up the beginning and end for now and if anyone is interested, and I am allowed, I will post the rest. I have resized the pics to save Daves valuable web space biggrin.gif .

 

th_CentralJunction.jpg

 

th_Endoftheline3.jpg

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You could just upload the images to photobucket, imageshack or flickre and either post links to the images or use the tags to display them in a post.

I think there's a tutorial somewhere on the forum, maybe someone can post a link or write one if I am imagining it..? :D

 

http://photobucket.com/

 

http://www.flickr.com/

 

http://imageshack.us/

 

Edit: to add links.

Edited by Le200

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Guest flybyknight

Thanks Le200, I'm just uploading the pics to photobucket. I will have a quick swot-up on how it works, when they are all upped I will try and paste the link to the pics.

Thanks again for your help. :)

 

Right, uploaded the pics and here's the link (hope this works)..

 

http://s389.photobucket.com/albums/oo338/flybyknight_bucket/

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There's some nice shots there!

That part of the track would be the easiest to reinstate, it's the part after the Robins Lane bridge that would be hard work and cost a fortune.

I think I remember the platform for that line still being there at the Junction but I haven't been near there for a few years so am unsure.

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We're only using 4% of the available space on the site's Photobucket Pro account. I'd rather use that for images (well, images of permanent local interest) than use the space on here - which is best kept for posts. I don't mind so much if members upload images on here, so long as they understand that we might move them to the PB site.

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Guest flybyknight

Right, got all that and will abide. I'll try and do the rest of the line on Tuesday, weather permitting and any more places of interest that are relative, such as the state of bridges.

I like to visit places that are difficult to get at and the lesser travelled paths and I suppose it might be interesting for the older people :D of this forum to see how things have changed from the comfort of their favourite PC chair whilst nursing a nice brew.

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Rail track put in document about this line for the planning enquiry for the new stadium. It talked about intended use. If you pop into the planning office at the council they should let you read it.

 

I enjoyed the pics BTW

Edited by donkey o'tay

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The line from St helens Central to the junction was part of the old line which used to run to Runcorn Gap (Spike Island).The reason it stops after Baxters Lane bridge was that it used to run tankers into and out of Leather's Chemicals until fairly recently. I remember seeing a train with tankers crossing Peasley Cross Lane about five or six years ago. I have also seen on a railway website somewhere where they are on about opening it again to get people to the new stadium

 

Gazza

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Being an ex-pat I can not get used to the idea of Central Station like earlier posters I remember the original and to me the 1 referred to will always be Shaw St..but I digress I always used this line to connect up with the Trans-Pennine to firstly Manchester Exchange then Victoria when Exchange was closed down. I last went on it about 1971 which was probably why it was closed as there were very few users of it at certain times often I was the only one, a pity because I have very good memories of the line and do hope it will re-open the pics by the way are very good well done.

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Hey great topic guys, I'm only 22 but i have a keen interest in local history and lived in Sutton all my life, but with my age only have only a small recollection of the line, making it more of a challenge almost to research it!

 

I contacted railtrack last year about the line and they of course told me that they had no historical data but they did say that there was strong local will to reopen the route, however it would cost at least £5 million to reinforce the bridges after baxters lane and they had no plans in the near future to do this. This may have changed since the saints satudium plans have emerged. They also interestingly informed me that the intersection bridge over the Manchester - Liverpool railway, perhaps historically the most poigiant part of the widnes section of the line, was no longer in their ownership but held by other parties.

 

I have visted all of the bridges on the line but here are some pics of the intersection and other bridges leading up to it, as the topic has covered brilliantly the earlier parts of the line, enjoy

 

http://s982.photobucket.com/albums/ae308/blackice1986_2009/

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There was once and still faintly is a goods line that connected Central and Junction stations together..

 

ive heard from a railway fan that if they open the railway terminal at park side they may possibly reopen that line between the junction and st helens.

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Guest flybyknight

Hey thanks for all the response here, Blackice your pictures are great and all the info is appreciated.

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