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Birkenhead North railway station

Coordinates: 53°24′18″N 3°03′25″W / 53.405°N 3.057°W / 53.405; -3.057
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Birkenhead North
Class 508 on Platform 3 in 2014
General information
LocationBirkenhead, Wirral
Coordinates53°24′18″N 3°03′25″W / 53.405°N 3.057°W / 53.405; -3.057
Grid referenceSJ298902
Managed byMerseyrail
Transit authorityMerseytravel
Platforms3 (only 2 see regular use)
Other information
Station codeBKN
Fare zoneB1
ClassificationDfT category E
Original companyHoylake Railway
Pre-groupingWirral Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
Key dates
2 January 1888Opened as Birkenhead Docks[1]
1926Renamed Birkenhead North
2018/19Increase 0.921 million
 Interchange Increase 117,198
2019/20Increase 1.074 million
 Interchange Increase 124,556
2020/21Decrease 0.298 million
 Interchange Decrease 32,163
2021/22Increase 0.681 million
 Interchange Increase 68,755
2022/23Increase 0.878 million
 Interchange Increase 71,783
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Birkenhead North railway station serves the town of Birkenhead, in Merseyside, 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. The station was originally known as Birkenhead Docks and opened on 2 January 1888 as a through station with Birkenhead Park station becoming the new terminus.[1]

Birkenhead North Station in 1961

The station had three through platforms 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, which renamed the station Birkenhead North in 1926.[3] The line through Birkenhead North was electrified, using a 650 V DC third rail system,[4] and brought into passenger service on 14 March 1938,[5] 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.[6] The Mersey Railway electric units operated through the station until 1957.[7]

Wrexham diesel service[edit]

From 4 January 1971 until 2 October 1978,[8] the diesel service on the Bidston to Wrexham line, which had previously operated from New Brighton, was diverted to Birkenhead North.[9] These trains terminated on the centre platform (2) 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 (1) instead.[10] The diesel service was cut back to Bidston on 2 October, 1978.[8] Regular use of the outer platform (1) at Birkenhead North thereafter ceased.

Signal boxes[edit]

Birkenhead North No. 1 was a 40-lever signal box which was situated at the western end of the southern platform and opened in 1888.[10][11] This signal box closed on 9 September 1994 and was demolished over the following two days.[12]

Birkenhead North No. 2 was a 25-lever signal box which was situated to the west of the station, approximately a third of the distance towards Bidston.[13][14] The box was located on the northern side of the Wirral Line at the junction with the Birkenhead Dock Branch goods line.[11][15] The signal box was closed on 15 September 1994 and was subject to arson in November 1994.[14]


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.[16] The station provides a Park and Ride service. There are 630 car parking spaces which are free to use for travellers, with lighting columns and CCTV to meet Merseytravel's Travelsafe requirements. There is secure cycle storage for 12 cycles.[17] In 2016 charging posts were added to the car park for the recharging of electric vehicles.[18] As of 4 June 2014, there is step-free access to the platforms for passengers with wheelchairs or prams.[19]


Trains operate every 15 minutes (Monday to Saturday daytime) to New Brighton and West Kirby and every 5–10 minutes via Birkenhead Hamilton Square to Liverpool. At other times, trains run every 30 minutes to New Brighton and West Kirby, and every 15 minutes to Liverpool.[20] These services are all provided by Merseyrail's fleet of Class 507 and Class 777 EMUs.



  1. ^ a b Maund 2009, pp. 27–28
  2. ^ Maund 2009, p. 50
  3. ^ Butt 1995, p. 35
  4. ^ Maund 2009, p. 154
  5. ^ Maund 2009, p. 166
  6. ^ Gahan 1983, p. 58
  7. ^ Gahan 1983, pp. 53–54
  8. ^ a b Maund 2009, p. 189
  9. ^ "Railways at Bidston". Disused Stations. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  10. ^ a b Mitchell & Smith 2014, fig. 16
  11. ^ a b Mitchell & Smith 2014, map VI
  12. ^ Maund 2009, p. 220
  13. ^ Maund 2009, p. 219
  14. ^ a b Maund 2009, p. 221
  15. ^ Mitchell & Smith 2014, fig. 22
  16. ^ "Birkenhead North Station Plan". National Rail. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  17. ^ "Birkenhead North train station facilities". Merseyrail. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Birkenhead North station welcomes more park and riders". Merseytravel. Archived from the original on 6 October 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  19. ^ "New facilities to help disabled users at Birkenhead North station". Merseytravel. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  20. ^ "Wirral Line timetable" (PDF). Merseyrail. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.


  • Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  • Gahan, John W. (1983). The Line Beneath The Liners. Birkenhead: Countryvise. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-907-76840-1.
  • Maund, T.B. (2009). The Wirral Railway and its Predecessors. Gloucestershire: Lightmoor Press. ISBN 978-1-899-88938-9.
  • Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2014). Birkenhead to West Kirby. West Sussex: Middleton Press. ISBN 9781908174611. OCLC 885451764.

External links[edit]

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