[Source: Paul Wright]

Date opened: 5.9.1881
Location: On the north side of Balliol Road at the junction with Oriel Road
Company on opening: London North Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 31.5.1948
Date closed completely: 31.5.1948
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished but sections of platform remain and part of the booking office frontage survives.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SJ340947
Date of visit: 19.6.2005

Notes: Bootle Balliol Road was located on the London & North Western Railway’s (LNWR) Alexandra Dock branch which opened on 5 September 1881. The short branch connected the LNWR Canada Dock branch from Atlantic Dock Junction to Alexandra Dock. The Canada Dock branch formed a link between the LNWR Liverpool and Manchester line at Edge Hill to the north Liverpool docks.

Balliol Road station opened with the branch. The entrance to the station was, as the name would suggest, on Balliol Road where the Bootle Town Hall was situated. Passengers entered the station via a single storey brick building located on the western side of Balliol Road. The building contained waiting rooms and a booking office.

Being situated in a deep cutting with sloping banks and retaining walls the railway was at a much lower elevation than the station building. Passing over the line was Millers Bridge Road, and just to the west was the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway’s (LYR) Liverpool and Southport line.

The Alexandra Dock branch was a double-track railway and Balliol Road station was provided with two platforms. The up platform (Liverpool direction) was reached via a sloping path that led straight down from the station building. The down platform was approached via a path that passed over the line at the north end of the station where it entered the Berry Street tunnel. The path then ran parallel to the LYR line for a short distance before dropping down to the platform.

The platforms were on a curve and extended to the south side of Millers Bridge Road. Both platforms had waiting facilities and toilets. The up platform facilities were on the north side of Millers Bridge Road and the down were on the south side.

To the south of the station the Alexandra Dock branch climbed to an elevation equal to that of the LYR line before descending into the Oriel Road tunnel which carried it to Atlantic Dock Junction. At the point where the two lines ran parallel a junction had opened by 1 June 1886 when a service of through coaches between Southport Chapel Street and London Euston began. Named Bootle Junction it was controlled by an LYR and an LNWR signal box. The LNWR box was located on the east side of the line at the point where the connecting lines to the LYR diverged from the Alexandra Dock branch. It had opened by 1 June 1886 and was an LNWR Type 4 box with a 20 lever frame. The LYR box, a Railway Signal Company product with a 36 lever frame, had also opened by 1 June 1886. Co-operation between both boxes was required to work the junction as a series of inter-locking bolts had been installed as a safety measure.

At the time of opening Bootle Balliol Road had a frequent service of trains that ran between Liverpool Lime Street and Alexandra Dock, most of which called at all stations on the branch.

By December 1895 there was an intense service of 19 up and 20 down trains from Bootle Balliol Road on Monday-to-Saturday with no trains on Sundays, as shown in the table below.

Up Trains December 1895 Destination Down Trains December 1895 Destination
5.17am Liverpool Lime Street 5.47am Alexandra Dock
6.17am Liverpool Lime Street 6.27am Alexandra Dock
7.17am Liverpool Lime Street 7.37am Alexandra Dock
8.02am Liverpool Lime Street 8.12am Alexandra Dock
8.32am Liverpool Lime Street 8.42am Alexandra Dock
9.32am Liverpool Lime Street 9.07am Alexandra Dock
10.32am Liverpool Lime Street 10.07am Alexandra Dock
11.32am Liverpool Lime Street 11.07am Alexandra Dock
12.32pm Liverpool Lime Street 12.07pm Alexandra Dock
1.32pm Liverpool Lime Street 1.07pm Alexandra Dock
2.32pm Liverpool Lime Street 2.07pm Alexandra Dock
3.32pm Liverpool Lime Street 3.07pm Alexandra Dock
4.42pm Liverpool Lime Street 4.07pm Alexandra Dock
5.32pm Liverpool Lime Street 5.07pm Alexandra Dock
6.32pm Liverpool Lime Street 6.07pm Alexandra Dock
7.32pm Liverpool Lime Street 7.07pm Alexandra Dock
8.32pm Liverpool Lime Street 8.07pm Alexandra Dock
9.47pm Liverpool Lime Street 9.07pm Alexandra Dock
11.02pm Liverpool Lime Street 10.37pm Alexandra Dock
    11.32pm Alexandra Dock

The July 1922 timetable showed 13 up and 14 down trains on Monday-to-Friday. On Saturdays there were only 8 up and 7 down services and no trains ran on Sundays.

On 1 January 1923 the Alexandra Dock branch became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). By 1930 the LNWR Bootle Junction signal box had been closed and demolished. The LYR box received a 46 lever LYR frame so that it could control all of the junction and a section of the LNWR line, including that through Balliol Road station.

In summer 1932 there were 11 trains to Alexandra Dock and 13 to Liverpool Lime Street on Monday-to-Saturday only. The first departure from Balliol Road was for Alexandra Dock and it left at 6.53am. The last departure was also for Alexandra Dock at 10.43pm.

On 4 May 1941 Canada Dock station was badly damaged during heavy bombing and the passenger service was withdrawn. Although the station was patched up quickly allowing freight services to resume the passenger service was not resumed leaving only the trains that ran between Liverpool Lime street and Alexandra Dock.

By 1947 the service had reduced to 6 up and 5 down trains running Monday-to-Friday only as shown in the table below.

On 1 January 1948 Bootle Balliol Road became part of the British Railways London Midland Region. It did not survive long into the Nationalisation era, closing on 31 May 1948.

The Alexandra Dock branch had always been more important for goods traffic, and it continued to see heavy traffic until dock traffic started to decline in the 1960s. Rail traffic had reached a low ebb by 1980 when there were only a handful of booked trains running through Bootle Balliol Road. After 1980 traffic levels began to pick up, first with the introduction of Freightliner services to and from Seaforth, and in the second half of the 1980s imported coal started to come in through Liverpool docks.

Bootle Balliol Road remained remarkably intact after closure, the road side building surviving until the 1990s. The platforms remained extant but they had degraded significantly by 2013, becoming very overgrown with only the sections beneath Millers Bridge Road clearly visible.

Tickets from Michael Stewart route map by Alan Young.


See also Alexandra Dock

See also the stations on the Canada Dock branch: Canada Dock, Spellow,
Walton & Anfield
, Breck Road, Tue Brook, Stanley & Edge Lane

See Feature:

Atlantic Dock Junction

Looking south at Bootle Balliol Road station from the access path to the up platform in 1951 three years after closure. The view illustrates how the platforms were located on both sides of the Millers Bridge Road bridge. The station still retained its platform buildings at this time.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

Bootle Balliol Road station shown on a 6-inch scale map from 1890.

Bootle Balliol Road shown on a 25-inch scale map from 1890.

The platforms of Bootle Balliol Road station shown on a town plan from 1895.

Bootle Balliol Road station shown on a street map from the 1930s.

Bootle Balliol Road station looking south along the up platform in 1951.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

The site of the platforms at Bootle Balliol Road station looking south from street level on 19 June 2005. The up platform was closest to the photographer. The path that connected to the down platform can be discerned to the right of the line.
hoto by Paul Wright

The remains the Bootle Balliol Road station booking office seen on 19 June 2005.
hoto by Paul Wright

The site of Bootle Balliol Road station looking north on 21 June 2011. Small sections of surviving platform can be seen under the bridge.
hoto by John Wilson

A view looking north at the site of the Bootle Balliol Road street level booking office on 26 March 2012. A residential development and small park had obliterated all trace of the station building.
Photo by Paul Wright






[Source: Paul Wright]

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