Broadheath Station was situated on what was to become known as
the Ditton Junction to Skelton Junction line. It was opened on
1.11.1853 as part of the Warrington and Stockport Railway which
ran from a temporary terminus at Wilderspool in Warrington to
Altrincham where it connected with the MSJA line into Manchester.
At the same time the St. Helens Railway (formerly the St. Helens
and Runcorn Gap Railway) opened a line from Garston Dock to a
temporary terminus at Warrington Whitecross. On the 1.5.1854 the
two lines were joined together at a new joint station Warrington
Arpley. This now created an alternative Liverpool to Manchester
route to that of the LNWR. However by 1860 the LNWR had a lease
on the Warrington and Stockport line and on 1.1.1861 bought it
out completely. It was only then a matter of time and on 1.8.1864
the St. Helens Railway was absorbed also. This was to seal the
lines fate as from this point forward it would always be a secondary
route as far as passenger services were concerned. The station
was opened as Altrincham but was renamed Broadheath (Altrincham)
in November 1856.
A number of local services used various parts of the line with
most through trains being between Ditton Junction and Manchester
Oxford Road. Some trains did run from Liverpool Lime Street to
Manchester but they were not very frequent. This was the service
that continued up to the end of passenger services and in later
years it was provided by a tank engine and push/pull sets of coaches.
There was a brief interlude when DMU's were tried in the late
1950's but by the early 1960's the service was back in the hands
of the push pull sets.
Broadheath Station closed to passengers on 10.9.1962 when all
regular passenger services on the line ceased. The line continued
in use as a busy freight artery particularly for coal heading
west towards Fiddlers Ferry Power Station and Garston Docks. Even
in the early 1980s there were 60 trains per day booked to use
the line east of Warrington. However expensive repairs were needed
to the bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal at Latchford and
many trains could take alternative routes. The line closed east
of Latchford with the last booked trains running on 7.7.1985.
In 1988 the line was lifted by a demolition train.
Today the route east of Latchford bridge forms part of the Trans
Pennine Trail cycleway and footpath.
To see the other
stations on the Ditton Junction to Skelton Junction Line click
on the station name: Ditton,
Widnes South, Cuerdley,
Ferry & Penketh, Sankey
Bank Quay Low Level, Warrington
& Dunham Massey