Stanlow and Thornton railway station

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Stanlow and Thornton National Rail
Stanlow and Thornton railway station (7).JPG
On the platform
Location
Place Stanlow
Local authority Cheshire West and Chester
Grid reference SJ440760
Operations
Station code SNT
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*
2011/12 Increase 468
2012/13 Decrease 260
2013/14 Increase 314
2014/15 Decrease 158
2015/16 Decrease 88
History
23 December 1940 Opened
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Stanlow and Thornton from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Stanlow & Thornton railway station is located within the Stanlow Refinery in Cheshire, England. It lies on the Ellesmere Port to Warrington Line with services operated by Northern. The station is surrounded by the refinery site, so as a result most station users are refinery employees.[1]

History[edit]

Stanlow & Thornton track layout in 1975

The station was opened on 23 December 1940 jointly by the Great Western Railway and the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.[2] The station served the Shell Thornton Aero Engine Laboratory (AEL), which was responsible for developing fuels and oils for the aircraft of the Royal Air Force.

A short distance from the station was a signal box. This controlled all of the sidings used for freight. Shell stopped using rail as a method of transportation of goods, and subsequently, the sidings were removed. Eventually, the signal box was dismantled and donated to the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.[3] Today, the signals for this line and station are controlled at Helsby and Ellesmere Port signal boxes, operated by Network Rail.

The station was originally earmarked for closure under what is known today as the Beeching Axe, a report created by Dr. Beeching entitled "The Reshaping of Britain's railways". This was a report commissioned by the government to find out how money could be saved, as use of the railways began to decline.[4]

Station usage statistics for 2004-5 showed 40 passengers using the station, less than one per week.[5] Passenger numbers began to increase at the station in 2005-6, with 130 people using it in 2005-06. This rose sharply to 326 in 2006-2007, despite the same rail services being operated.

Facilities[edit]

The steps lead down to the refinery site

At this station there are covered shelters, with three metal seats on either platform. There is a payphone located on the Helsby platform,[6] but it only accepts phonecards from British Telecom.

A gently rising footpath leads from the road to a flight of 48 steps with 2 rest landings and a handrail onto a footbridge. From the footbridge to the left, the first flight of 30 steps with rest landing and handrail lead to the Helsby platform, and the second flight of 30 steps with rest landing and handrail lead to the Ellesmere Port platform. The station is definitely not accessible for people with mobility problems.[7]

The now-defunct booking office at Stanlow & Thornton

The booking office is still extant at the Ellesmere Port platform, but has been closed for some time. It now houses the electrics for the station and is boarded up.

Although not controlled by Northern, the station does have CCTV monitored by the security services at the Essar oil refinery.

There is limited car parking at the entrance of the station.

The station is unstaffed with no ticket office so passengers buy tickets from a conductor on board the train.[8]

Services[edit]

Four trains per day call at the station in each direction (towards Helsby and Ellesmere Port). Two of these Helsby bound trains (one early morning and the last service each afternoon) continue to Warrington Bank Quay, whilst the first morning train of the day starts from there. The one afternoon train that formerly ran through to Liverpool Lime Street now terminates at Warrington Bank Quay.[9]

The Saturday service is effectively the same as the Monday - Friday equivalent, except that the early morning services terminate at Helsby rather than Warrington Bank Quay.

There is no service on Sundays. A Saturday service operates on most Bank Holidays.

The North Cheshire Rail User Group, supports and actively campaigns for an improved service at this station and for this railway line.[10]

Public transport interchange[edit]

The station is located on Oil Sites Road, a private road owned by Essar Oil. This is now closed to motor vehicles, except for access to the site. The original owner, Shell, had cited increased commercial traffic to its refinery and the amount of public vehicles using the road, recklessly in some cases, as reasons for closure.[11] The road previously also allowed quick access to the villages of Ince and Elton from Ellesmere Port and beyond.

Although it is theoretically accessible by foot, it involves a long walk from either Ellesmere Port, Ince or Elton. There are no bus or taxi services at this station due to the access restrictions.

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Stanlow railway station map". Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  2. ^ Butt (1995).
  3. ^ "Archived News: Stanlow & Thornton". Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  4. ^ "The Reshaping of Britain's railways (PDF file)" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  5. ^ "Station Usage Statistics (MS Excel)". Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  6. ^ "Stanlow & Thornton: Station Facilities". National Rail. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  7. ^ "Stanlow & Thornton: Accessibility". National Rail. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  8. ^ "Stanlow & Thornton: Ticketing options available.". National Rail. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  9. ^ GB eNRT 2015-16 Edition, Table 109
  10. ^ "North Cheshire Rail User Group". Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  11. ^ "Road shut to public". Ellesmere Port Pioneer. icCheshireOnline. 2008-03-12. 

Sources[edit]

Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]


Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Ellesmere Port   Northern
Ellesmere Port to Warrington Line
Mondays-Saturdays only
  Ince and Elton

Coordinates: 53°16′41″N 2°50′28″W / 53.278°N 2.841°W / 53.278; -2.841