Edge Hill railway station
|Number of platforms||4|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections|
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Passenger Transport Executive|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Edge Hill from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
There have been two stations of that name. The first stood a short distance south-west of the present station and its remains are still visible, although the site is not open to the public.
The first station
The first station opened on 15 September 1830 as part of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. It was located in a deep sandstone cutting, with three tunnels at the west end. The largest bore, in the centre, was the 2,250 yd (2,060 m) Wapping Tunnel, a long incline leading to Wapping Dock and the world's first tunnel to be bored under a metropolis. The goods wagons descended by gravity, but were hauled up by a winding engine. When first opened, it was whitewashed, lit by gas, and used as a promenade by visitors.
The tunnel to the north of the central bore was much shorter and inclined upwards, leading to the passenger terminal at Crown Street. Here the trains descended by gravity to Edge Hill station and were wound up into Crown Street. The southern tunnel was originally a short length leading nowhere and used as a storage shed: its chief purpose was to create a symmetrical appearance. It was later extended so that it could enter the goods yard created after the abandonment of the Crown Street station.
At the opposite end of the station area were the boilers of a stationary steam engine. These were used for the rope-winding mechanism. Each formed the base of a fine Moorish Arch. The smoke was channelled down rock cut flues to tall chimneys – known as the 'Pillars of Hercules' – on either side of the tunnel facing.
There were engine sheds and workshops cut into the rock either side of the station area, entered by transverse tracks accessed by turnplates.
The station area was rarely used for passengers, being so close to Crown Street station, but was used for the marshalling of trains and the coupling and uncoupling of locomotives.
The new station
The decision to divert passenger traffic by means of a new tunnel to Lime Street Station from Edge Hill resulted in the construction of a new station further north at Edge Hill at the tunnel portal. Both Crown Street and the old Edge Hill station then became goods stations. Crown Street was used as a coal and agricultural goods terminal. The new Edge Hill station was opened in 1836 and has been in continuous use ever since. Trains descended to Lime Street by gravity, being rope-hauled by a winding engine back up to Edge Hill. This system, constructed by Mather, Dixon and Company under the direction of John Grantham, ended in 1870.
Sidings to the north of the station (sometimes called Exhibition Road after the adjacent thoroughfare leading to the exhibition hall) served as a terminus for excursionists visiting the 1886 "Shipperies" and 1887 Royal Jubilee Exhibitions. The venue on Edge Lane had its own sidings to the south, including access to the building itself, for delivery of exhibits and removal of materials when the site closed.
Facing west there are two tunnels visible from the platforms. The northernmost tunnel is the Waterloo Tunnel, and the southern tunnel leads to Liverpool Lime Street. The station consists of two island platforms, each with an original building dating from 1836. This makes it one of the world's oldest passenger railway station still in use, although the former Liverpool Road station in Manchester is the oldest surviving station building. Art exhibitions are held on the approach road to the Southern island platform. An arts centre called Metal now occupies part of the building on the Manchester-bound platform.
Around 400 yards[nb 1] from the station in the Manchester direction is a key junction, where the Merseyrail City lines separate into two: one goes towards Mossley Hill (serving the southern Liverpool-Manchester line and the West Coast Main Line) and the other towards Wavertree Technology Park (serving the Wigan and Manchester Victoria lines). The Canada Dock Branch line runs through the station towards Bootle Oriel Road. There is also a carriage servicing depot just to the east of the junction on the line towards Mossley Hill which is used by Alstom to maintain train operator Virgin West Coast's Pendolino fleet.
The station buildings are Grade 2 listed. Network Rail applied for planning permission in November 2016 to update the ticket desk and counter to make it more accessible to passengers with disabilities.
The ticket office (on the northern island platform) is manned throughout the day (05:30–00:10, Monday–Saturday). Information screens & customer help points are provided on all four platforms (which are linked by subway), but the buildings on platforms 3 and 4 are no longer in use. Step-free access is available to platforms 1 and 2 only, as the subway to the other platforms has stairs.
Edge Hill lies on both the middle and southern routes of the Liverpool to Manchester Line from Liverpool Lime Street. There is a half-hourly service on the northern branch, with alternate trains to Manchester Victoria and Warrington Bank Quay. There is also an hourly service on the southern branch to Manchester Oxford Road via Warrington Central, and a half-hourly service to Wigan North Western via St Helens Central.
- 1 train per hour to Manchester Oxford Road
- 1 train per hour to Manchester Victoria
- 1 train per hour to Warrington Bank Quay
- 2 trains per hour to Wigan North Western
- 5 trains per hour to Liverpool Lime Street
- calling at Liverpool Lime Street only
The station is closed on Sundays.
Points of interest
Edge Hill is a haven for rail enthusiasts. There is a large freight yard operated by EWS, which mostly sees Class 60 locomotives, as a change from that company's more ubiquitous Class 66s. The yards are also home to a number of track maintenance units, some of which have not been moved for two decades.
In 2009 arts organisation Metal completed a major renovation of the Engine House, Boiler Room and Accumulator Tower at Edge Hill Station, after successfully raising capital funding from Kensington Regeneration, Merseytravel, Northern Rail, Railway Heritage Trust and Network Rail. This included works by Al and Al, entitled XXX: Get Off At Edge Hill.
- Seen on signs at LE junction.
- "Promoting Edge Hill". Modern Railways (747). London. December 2010. p. 35.
- "Liverpool & Manchester Railway". Engineering Timelines. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
- Connelly, Angela; Hebbert, Michael (March 2011). "Liverpool's Lost Railway Heritage" (PDF). Manchester Architecture Research Centre. University of Manchester. p. 18. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- Whishaw 1842, p. 193
- Hardie, Carol. "The Shipperies" (PDF). Victorian Society. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "Goods Station Name: Canada Dock". Disused Stations. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
- "Liverpool Rail Depot Expands to Meet Demand" Network Rail Media Centre press release 7 October 2008; Retrieved 11 January 2017
- "Edge Hill station could get a new look". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- Edge Hill station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 11 January 2017
- Table 89 & 90 National Rail timetable, May 2016
- Whishaw, Francis (1842). The Railways of Great Britain and Ireland Practically Described and Illustrated (2nd ed.). London: John Weale. OCLC 833076248.
- Hughes, John C. (July 1990). "Fourteen tunnels to Lime Street". Back Track. Vol. 4 no. 4. Pendragon Publishing. ISSN 0955-5382.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Edge Hill railway station.|
- Train times and station information for Edge Hill railway station from National Rail
- Subterranea Britannica
- Historic England. "Details from image database (359620)". Images of England.