Birkenhead Railways: A Photographic History (Lightmoor)

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Birkenhead Railways: A Photographic History is a fascinating album featuring black & white photographs taken from the 19th century to the present day, which has been produced by the Merseyside Railway History Group.

The port town of Birkenhead is located on the bank of the River Mersey, opposite Liverpool, and the first railway to connect Birkenhead with Chester came about in 1840. The Chester & Birkenhead Railway built a line which ran from Chester to Birkenhead, via Hooton, but in 1847 it was taken over by the Birkenhead, Lancashire & Cheshire Junction Railway Company; with its name shortening to the Birkenhead Railway Company in 1859.

From 1860 the Birkenhead Railway was operated jointly by the London & North Western and Great Western Railway, joint management continued after the 1923 Grouping, but now operated by the GWR and the London, Midland & Scottish Railway. Joint ownership resulted in a wide range of locomotives, rolling stock and company styles running in a relatively small area, however due to Birkenhead’s location the railway did not get the photographic coverage that many other railway centres received.

The Merseyside Railway History Group members have produced this album of pictures by drawing on various archives and other sources to obtain the work of numerous photographers (some known and some unknown) and in doing so have created a comprehensive review of the railways in the Birkenhead area from the 19th century to the present day. Many previously unpublished pictures are included and together the photographs illustrate the lines and systems that served the area.

This volume follows on from a previous book compiled by the Merseyside Railway History Group, The Railways of Chester, which was published in 2015. Consequently, this account begins at Mollington, on the Joint line from Chester to Birkenhead Woodside, and covers the various stations, goods yards, engine sheds and industrial locations passed on the way. The goods line to Birkenhead Docks is covered, along with the extensive railway system which accessed the docks, showing the goods depots and wharves that were served and some of the ships.

Finally, the third rail electric network within the Birkenhead boundary is included, encompassing the Mersey Railway main line between Rockferry and Hamilton Square, and the branch to Birkenhead Park, along with the Wirral Railway between Birkenhead Park and Birkenhead North.

306 black & white photographs and 6 plans. Hardback. 168 pages.

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