Birkenhead Hamilton Square railway station

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Birkenhead Hamilton Square National Rail
Hamilton Square Station platform.jpg
Platforms 1 and 2, before refurbishment.
Place Birkenhead
Local authority Wirral
Coordinates 53°23′41″N 3°00′50″W / 53.3947°N 3.0139°W / 53.3947; -3.0139Coordinates: 53°23′41″N 3°00′50″W / 53.3947°N 3.0139°W / 53.3947; -3.0139
Grid reference SJ326891
Station code BKQ
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  1.146 million
2005/06 Increase 1.239 million
2006/07 Decrease 1.134 million
2007/08 Decrease 1.051 million
2008/09 Increase 2.624 million
2009/10 Decrease 2.429 million
2010/11 Increase 2.507 million
2011/12 Increase 2.524 million
- Interchange 0.313 million
2012/13 Decrease 2.363 million
- Interchange Increase 0.320 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Merseytravel
Zone B1
Original company Mersey Railway
Pre-grouping Mersey Railway
Post-grouping Mersey Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
1886 Opened
1903 Electrified
1977 Extended
29 September 2014


27 March 2015 Reopened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Birkenhead Hamilton Square from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Birkenhead Hamilton Square railway station (commonly shortened to Hamilton Square station) is situated near Hamilton Square in Birkenhead, Wirral, England, on the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail network. It is an underground station, the platforms being reached by lifts from the surface.


Hamilton Square station was built by the Mersey Railway and opened on 1 February 1886.[1] The station building was designed by G. E. Grayson in Italianate style, and has been designated as a Grade II listed building.[2] It stood on that railway's original route from James Street station in Liverpool to Green Lane, later extended to Rock Ferry and Birkenhead Park. Just south of the station, the lines towards Rock Ferry and Birkenhead Park diverge; this junction was originally built as a flat crossing.

With the platforms being at a deep level, three hydraulic lifts were provided to transport passengers from ground level to the platforms and back, as well as flights of steps. Each lift was able to accommodate up to 100 passengers at a time and took 45 seconds to travel in each direction. The lifts were installed by Easton and Anderson.[3]

The first electric train passenger service ran through the station on 3 May 1903, with a 650v DC fourth rail system[3] and Mersey Railway electric units built by Westinghouse. Despite the journey being far quicker than travel aboard the Mersey Ferry service, passengers were not keen on travelling underground due to the smoke from the previous coal-powered steam locomotives. A Frequent electric trains sign was erected on the outside of the station's large hydraulic lift tower (slightly below the position of the present sign) to publicise these cleaner trains.

In the 1970s, as part of the expansion programme of the Merseyrail network, a burrowing junction was built at Hamilton Square so that trains heading towards New Brighton and West Kirby did not have to cross the path of trains coming from Rock Ferry on the flat crossing. Along with the construction of the loop tunnel in the centre of Liverpool, this improved the capacity of the Wirral Line, allowing increased train frequencies. As part of this project, Hamilton Square gained a new platform (Platform 3) for New Brighton and West Kirby services, and the rest of the station was refurbished. Unfortunately this investment coincided with the significant decline in employment in Central Liverpool and surrounding areas, patronage fell, and the peak hour train service provided nowadays through the extensive grade-separated tunnel junctions is notably less than was provided in the 1960s-70s, just using the flat junction.

2014/15 Refurbiushment[edit]

In August 2014, it was announced that Hamilton Square was to be the fourth station to be refurbished as part of the £40 million investment from Network Rail which would see all Merseyrail Underground Stations excluding Conway Park refurbished. This included the refurbishment of platforms, concourses and the booking hall. The station closed on 29 September 2014 and reopened on 27 March 2015.[4]

During the refurbishment, in November 2014 it was revealed that old historic posters dating back to the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's were found underneath the old wall cladding.[5] The posters however could not be saved due to their poor condition. However, during the opening, artwork documenting the old posters was unveiled on Platform 1 of the station.[6]


The station is staffed, during all opening hours, and has platform CCTV.[7] There are toilets, a payphone, an ATM, booking office, a ticket machine and live departure and arrival screens, for passenger information. The station doesn't have a car park or a cycle rack, though there is a drop-off point. Step-free access to the platforms, for wheelchairs and prams, is possible, via the lifts.[8] The station also has a shop, in the main booking hall, which opened in 2007 and which sells tickets and snacks.


During Monday-Saturday daytime, trains operate at least every five minutes to James Street and around the Liverpool city centre loop. In the other direction, trains operate every 15 minutes to each of New Brighton, West Kirby and Chester, and every 30 minutes to Ellesmere Port. At other times, trains operate every 30 minutes to each of these four destinations, giving a service every 5–10 minutes to Liverpool.[9] These services are all provided by Merseyrail's fleet of Class 507 and Class 508 EMUs.

Bus link to Twelve Quays ferry terminal[edit]

A courtesy bus operates from a bus stop outside the station on Bridge Street to Twelve Quays (and vice versa) in connection with Stena Line ferry sailings to/ from Belfast. Through ticketing is available.[10]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 112. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  2. ^ Historic England. "Hamilton Square Station, Birkenhead (1218084)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Gahan, John W. (1983). The Line Beneath the Liners: A hundred years of Mersey Railway sights and sounds. Birkenhead: Countryvise Ltd. ISBN 978-0-907-76840-1. 
  4. ^ Murphy, Liam (12 August 2014). "Hamilton Square station to shut for £4million revamp". Liverpool Echo (Trinity Mirror Merseyside). Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Hamilton Square Posters Found
  6. ^ osters Update
  7. ^ "Birkenhead Hamilton Square (BKQ)". National Rail. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Hamilton Square Station Plan". National Rail. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Wirral Line timetable" (PDF). Merseyrail. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "How to travel by train & ferry from London to Belfast & Northern Ireland". Retrieved 29 August 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Birkenhead Central
towards Chester or Ellesmere Port
Wirral Line
Ellesmere Port/Chester
  James Street
towards Liverpool Central
Conway Park
towards New Brighton or West Kirby
Wirral Line
New Brighton/West Kirby