Meols Cop railway station

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Meols Cop National Rail
Meols Cop Railway Station (geograph 2992993).jpg
On the platform.
Place Blowick
Local authority Sefton
Grid reference SD356170
Station code MEC
Managed by Northern
Number of platforms 2
DfT category F2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2012/13 Decrease 63,722
2013/14 Increase 65,852
2014/15 Increase 70,476
2015/16 Increase 77,410
2016/17 Increase 79,346
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Merseytravel
Zone D1
1 November 1887 Opened
1909 Electrified
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Meols Cop from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Meols Cop railway station serves the Blowick suburb of the coastal town of Southport, Merseyside, England. The station has an island platform and is served by Northern's Manchester Victoria/Manchester Airport - Southport via Wigan Wallgate branch services, on which it is the last stop before the terminus.


Meols Cop railway station opened on 1 November 1887, originally as part of the Liverpool, Southport and Preston Junction Railway from Southport Central to Altcar and Hillhouse.[1] It is the only part of that line still in use, having replaced a section of the Manchester and Southport Railway. The LP&SJR struggled financially from opening and was absorbed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway in July 1897. Within four years, the new owners of the line had diverted services to their established terminus at Chapel Street along with those of the West Lancashire Railway from Preston, with Central being relegated to use as a goods depot.

The line through Meols Cop was electrified in February 1909 by the L&YR to exploit the area's potential for commuter traffic, with the popular electric service between Southport & Crossens being diverted there over the north to east side of the triangular junction with WLR, which was sited immediately to the west. Services then reversed at the station before continuing to either Southport or Churchtown & Crossens. The L&Y subsequently opened a carriage maintenance depot within the triangle nearby to maintain their new Electric Multiple Unit fleet in 1912.[1]

In February 1911 a connection from the LS&PJR route to join the Wigan line at Pool Hey Junction was opened, which allowed trains from Wigan (and Ormskirk) to Southport to serve the station[1] - this would later allow the closure of the original M&SR route via Blowick and the removal of the busy level crossing there. For much of the station's life though, its train service was provided mainly by the Crossens to Southport EMUs (a few of which continued through to/from Liverpool Exchange) and the Southport to Altcar trains, which from 1906 were provided by steam railmotors.[1]

By 1926, the Altcar Bob service had been cut back to Barton and it was subsequently withdrawn completely by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in September 1938. Goods traffic continued over the line until complete closure in January 1952.[1]

The third rail was only used for access to the carriage works after the September 1964 closure of the Southport-Crossens service, which became a victim of the Beeching Axe (along with the WLR main line) despite being used by over 2 million passenger per year.[1] This left the station with a much reduced service to Southport & Wigan, which initially was only provided at morning & evening peak periods.[1] From 14 June 1965, all trains on the Wigan route were routed through the station with the closure of the Blowick line, but it wasn't until the spring 1967 timetable change that off-peak calls were reinstated. The Wigan to Southport line had not been recommended for closure by Beeching in his 1963 report, but British Rail subsequently submitted a closure proposal for the route and Meols Cop station in May 1967.[1] This was eventually rejected by the Minister for Transport exactly a year later, securing the station's future. Goods traffic however ceased to be handled in November 1967, with the closure of the goods yard.

The Meols Cop Electric depot closed on 14 February 1970,[2] and the third rail was lifted shortly afterwards. The station remained well served though, with over 20 trains calling in each direction in the May 1975 timetable and this frequency remained more or less unchanged for the next two decades. Sunday services however ceased in the mid 1980s and the station became unstaffed in 1990, subsequently losing its wooden buildings to demolition in March 2000 (replacement 'bus stop' style shelters being erected the following month).[1]

In early January 2016, CCTV Cameras were installed at the station.[3]


The station is unmanned as noted, with no ticketing facilities - passengers must buy their tickets on the train or prior to travel. Train running information is provided by timetable posters and telephone. No step-free access is available, as entry and exit can only be made via a staircase from road bridge at the Southport end of the platform.[4]


There is an hourly service in each direction to Southport and Manchester Victoria (via Atherton) on weekdays & Saturdays, with a number of morning peak and evening peak trains to/from Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport via Bolton.[5]

The station was closed on Sundays up until the December 2008 timetable change, but is now served hourly in each direction (to Stockport eastbound, with alternate trains continuing to/from Chester via Altrincham or Hazel Grove).


The station is voluntarily maintained by the Friends of Meols Cop Station group. The group looks after the station by tending the gardens and keeping the station clean and tidy.[6]

A well-maintained platform.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Station Name: Meols Cop". Disused Stations. Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  2. ^ "Meols Cop Triangle & Electric Car Sheds" Disused Stations Site Record; Retrieved 27 March 2016
  3. ^ Meols Cop Gets CCTV Cameras
  4. ^ Meols Cop station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 19 December 2016
  5. ^ Great Britain eNRT May 2017 Edition, Table 82
  6. ^ Friends of Meols Cop Station
  • Gell, Rob (1986). An Illustrated Survey of Railway Stations Between Southport & Liverpool 1848-1986. Heyday Publishing Company, ISBN 0-947562-04-4.

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Southport   Northern
Manchester Victoria-Southport or
Manchester Airport-Southport
  Bescar Lane or
Burscough Bridge
Disused railways
Southport Ash Street
until 1902
Line and station closed
  Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Liverpool, Southport and
Preston Junction Railway
  Kew Gardens
until 1907
Line and station closed
St Luke's
from 1902
Line open, station closed
    Butts Lane Halt
from 1907
Line open, station closed
Hesketh Park
Line and station closed
  Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Southport-Crossens electric service
  Trains reverse
St Luke's
Line open, station closed

Coordinates: 53°38′46″N 2°58′30″W / 53.646°N 2.975°W / 53.646; -2.975