Birkenhead North railway station

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Birkenhead North National Rail
Merseyrail Class 508, 508114, Birkenhead North railway station (geograph 4016716).jpg
Place Birkenhead
Local authority Wirral
Coordinates 53°24′18″N 3°03′25″W / 53.405°N 3.057°W / 53.405; -3.057Coordinates: 53°24′18″N 3°03′25″W / 53.405°N 3.057°W / 53.405; -3.057
Grid reference SJ298902
Station code BKN
Managed by Merseyrail
Number of platforms 3
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  0.252 million
2005/06 Increase 0.280 million
2006/07 Increase 0.308 million
2007/08 Increase 0.339 million
2008/09 Increase 0.882 million
2009/10 Decrease 0.823 million
2010/11 Increase 0.870 million
2011/12 Increase 0.903 million
- Interchange 75,630
2012/13 Decrease 0.842 million
- Interchange Decrease 75,023
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Merseytravel
Zone B1
Original company Hoylake Railway
Pre-grouping Wirral Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
1 April 1878 Opened as Birkenhead Docks
1926 Renamed Birkenhead North
1938 Electrified
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Birkenhead North from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Birkenhead North railway station is situated in Birkenhead, Wirral, England. The station is situated on the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail network, close to the junction of the New Brighton and West Kirby branches. Birkenhead North TMD, situated just to the west of the station, is the main Traction Maintenance Depot for the Merseyrail fleet.


The station was built by the Wirral Railway, replacing their earlier terminus at Wallasey Bridge Road (a short distance away) which had opened in 1866. It was originally known as Birkenhead Docks and opened on 1 April 1878.[1]

Birkenhead North Station in 1961

The station had three through platforms from prior to 1898,[2] which it still retains to the present day. However, the outer face of the north side island platform sees little use apart from trains to and from Birkenhead North depot at the start and end of service.

LMS Era[edit]

The Wirral Railway subsequently became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, who renamed the station Birkenhead North in 1926.[1] The line through Birkenhead North was electrified, using a 650v DC third rail system,[3] and brought into passenger service on 14 March 1938,[4] allowing through services from New Brighton to Liverpool Central via the Mersey Railway Tunnel. Services used the new LMS trains and the former Mersey Railway electric units.[5] The Mersey Railway electric units operated through the station until 1957.[6]

Wrexham diesel service[edit]

From 4 January 1971 until 2 October 1978,[7] the diesel service on the Bidston to Wrexham line, which had previously operated from New Brighton, was diverted to Birkenhead North.[8] These trains terminated in the centre platform which had previously been used for Liverpool-bound services, and when one of the diesel trains was present (which in that timetable was much of the time), Liverpool-bound electric services used the outer north side of the island platform instead.[citation needed] The diesel service was cut back to Bidston from 2 October 1978.[7] Regular use of the outer platform at Birkenhead North thereafter ceased.


The station building viewed from the Liverpool-bound platform.

The station has a booking office, and on-street parking, which has been upgraded and replaced with a Park and Ride facility, linked directly to the platform. The station is staffed, at all times during opening hours, and has platform CCTV. Each platform has open-air seating and live departure and arrival screens, for passenger information. There is a payphone available.[9] The station provides a Park and Ride service. There are a further 266 car parking spaces,[10] which are free to use for travellers, with lighting columns and CCTV to meet Merseytravel's Travelsafe requirements. As of 4 June 2014, there is step-free access to the platforms for passengers with wheelchairs or prams.[11] Platform access has been modernised, with £3.38 million of investment in improved disabled access, to a similar standard as that at Hooton.[12][13][14]


Trains operate every 15 minutes (Monday to Saturday daytime) to New Brighton and West Kirby and every 5–10 minutes via Hamilton Square to Liverpool. At other times, trains run every 30 minutes to New Brighton and West Kirby, and every 15 minutes to Liverpool.[15] These services are all provided by Merseyrail's fleet of Class 507 and Class 508 EMUs.



  1. ^ a b Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 35. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  2. ^ Maund, T.B. (2009). The Wirral Railway and its Predecessors. Gloucestershire: Lightmoor Press. p. 50. ISBN 978-1-899-88938-9. 
  3. ^ Maund, T.B. (2009). The Wirral Railway and its Predecessors. Gloucestershire: Lightmoor Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-1-899-88938-9. 
  4. ^ Maund, T.B. (2009). The Wirral Railway and its Predecessors. Gloucestershire: Lightmoor Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-1-899-88938-9. 
  5. ^ Gahan, John W. (1983). The Line Beaneath The Liners. Birkenhead: Countryvise. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-907-76840-1. 
  6. ^ Gahan, John W. (1983). The Line Beaneath The Liners. Birkenhead: Countryvise. pp. 53–54. ISBN 978-0-907-76840-1. 
  7. ^ a b Maund, T.B. (2009). The Wirral Railway and its Predecessors. Gloucestershire: Lightmoor Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-1-899-88938-9. 
  8. ^ Disused Stations - Railways at Bidston Disused Stations Retrieved 2013-11-18
  9. ^ Birkenhead North Station Plan Accessed 2013-12-17
  10. ^ Birkenhead North train station facilities, Merseyrail Accessed 2013-12-18
  11. ^ Merseytravel - New facilities to help disabled users at Birkenhead North station Accessed 2014-06-04
  12. ^ 2013/07/02 Accessed 2013-12-17
  13. ^ Wirral Globe - Second phase of improvement work to begin at Birkenhead North station Accessed 2014-06-04
  14. ^ Merseytravel - Birkenhead North Access Improvements Accessed 2014-06-04
  15. ^ "Wirral Line timetable" (PDF). Merseyrail. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Wallasey Village
towards New Brighton
Wirral Line
  Birkenhead Park
towards Liverpool
towards West Kirby
Disused railways
Liscard and Poulton   Wirral Railway
Seacombe Branch