Heswall railway station

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Heswall National Rail
Heswall Railway Station.jpg
Place Heswall
Local authority Wirral
Coordinates 53°19′48″N 3°04′26″W / 53.330°N 3.074°W / 53.330; -3.074Coordinates: 53°19′48″N 3°04′26″W / 53.330°N 3.074°W / 53.330; -3.074
Grid reference SJ286819
Station code HSW
Managed by Arriva Trains Wales
Number of platforms 2
DfT category F2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 54,630
2012/13 Decrease 51,820
2013/14 Increase 58,408
2014/15 Decrease 55,860
2015/16 Increase 56,660
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Merseytravel
Zone B2
Original company North Wales and Liverpool Joint Railway
Pre-grouping Great Central Railway
Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway
1 May 1898 opened as Heswall Hills
7 May 1973 renamed Heswall
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Heswall from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Heswall railway station is a railway station located on the eastern edge of the town of Heswall on the Wirral Peninsula, England. It is situated on the Borderlands Line. The station and all trains serving it are operated by Arriva Trains Wales. In 2008, the station was refurbished. The station was previously known as Heswall Hills, as there was previously another station serving Heswall, on the Birkenhead Railway's branch line from West Kirby to Hooton, that is now a footpath known as the Wirral Way.

Arriva Trains Wales operate their 'Adopt-a-Station' policy here, where their station is reported upon and light tasks are undertaken by volunteers.[1]


The railway line between Bidston and Hawarden Bridge was authorised on 31 July 1885, and was originally to be a line jointly owned by the Wirral Railway (WR) and the Wrexham, Mold and Connah's Quay Railway (WMCQ), but in 1889 the WR share was transferred to the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR).[2] Construction began in 1892; the line went through several changes of name, and by the time of its opening (goods 16 March 1896, passengers 18 May), was known as the North Wales and Liverpool Joint Railway.[3]

A station known as Heswall Hills was opened two years later, on 1 May 1898.[4][5] The MS&LR in due course became the Great Central Railway (GCR), which absorbed the WMCQ on 1 January 1905, so that by the time of the 1923 Grouping the line was wholly owned by the GCR, and so became part of the London and North Eastern Railway on 1 January 1923.[6]

Heswall Hills station was renamed Heswall on 7 May 1973.[4]

Freight and goods[edit]

The station had an extensive goods yard with sidings to the south-west of the station,[7] where daily shunting operations were carried out until the advent of diesel railcar operations in 1960, at which time light freight operations ceased. Although, the yard was still used until 30 October 1965.[8] The goods yard and sidings were sold off for housing development in about 1967.

However, the line continued to be used for heavy freight, as iron ore freight trains also passed through the station.[9][10] These freight trains operated from Bidston Dock to the John Summers steelworks in Shotton. The steam locomotives could be heard at night for at least five miles climbing Storeton Bank, from Upton station to Heswall.[citation needed] The Class 9F locomotive 92203, later named as Black Prince, worked the final steam-hauled iron ore train in November 1967.[11][12][13] The freight service itself ended around 1980.


Proposals have been put forward to electrify the track as part of the Borderlands Electrification scheme. Merseyrail would like to see the line electrified to link with its own third-rail service, with a doubling of the frequency of services.[14] This would allow the station to serve as a part of a direct service to Liverpool.

Arriva Trains Wales have an Adopt a Station initiative, Heswall Station is on their list of adopted stations and has been adopted by a member, or members, of the public.[15]


The station facilities are somewhat rudimentary, and the station is unstaffed at nearly all times.[16] Each of the two platforms has a waiting shelter with seating. There is a payphone, and live departure and arrival screens for passenger information, but no booking office. There is a small station car park, with space for 16 cars. Wheelchair and pram access to the platforms is possible, via the access ramps.


From Monday to Saturday, there is an hourly service between Bidston and Wrexham Central (two-hourly in the evening and on public holidays).[17] There is an irregular service (6 trains per day each way) on Sundays. Services are provided by an Arriva Trains Wales Class 150/2 "Sprinter" DMU.



  1. ^ Arriva Trains Wales | Stations Available
  2. ^ Dow, George (1962). Great Central, Volume Two: Dominion of Watkin, 1864-1899. Shepperton: Ian Allan. pp. 214, 216. ISBN 0-7110-1469-8. 
  3. ^ Dow 1962, pp. 222,226,228–9,292
  4. ^ a b Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 119. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  5. ^ Dow 1962, p. 295
  6. ^ Dow, George (1965). Great Central, Volume Three: Fay Sets the Pace, 1900-1922. Shepperton: Ian Allan. pp. 73,347,350. ISBN 0-7110-0263-0. 
  7. ^ Mitchell & Smith 2013, map XXX
  8. ^ Mitchell & Smith 2013, fig. 87
  9. ^ "92108 Heswall Hills Stn. 18.7.67". Flickr. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "92xxx Heswall Hills Stn. 18.7.67". Flickr. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "The Famous Black Prince". oldsteamers.com. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Memories of Bank Hall, Birkenhead & Beyond, Part Two, as recalled by Mal Pratt, Birkenhead 1966 - 1968". derbysulzers.com. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "Black Prince Steam Locomotive". The Olden Days - A Trip Down Memory Lane. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  14. ^ Salveson, Paul. "Bidston to the Borderlands" (PDF). Today's Railways UK (116): 50. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Adopted stations". Arriva Trains Wales. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Station Facilities for Heswall". National Rail. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  17. ^ GB eNRT 2015-16 Edition, Table 101


External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Neston   Arriva Trains Wales
Borderlands Line
Historical railways
Neston   Great Central Railway
North Wales and Liverpool Railway