[Source:Tony Graham & Paul Wright]

Hillhouse Junction as seen from the signal box in 1954. The line going towards the right was the route to Southport Chapel Street via Downholland. The line going towards the left was the route to Southport Lord Street.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

Hillhouse Junction was situated on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway (SCLER) to the north of Altcar & Hillhouse Station. The SCLER had opened on 1 September 1884 and linked the CLC (Cheshire Lines Committee) North Liverpool Extension Line to Southport Lord Street. On 1 September 1887 another company, the Liverpool, Southport & Preston Junction Railway (LSPJR), opened a line from Meols Cop in Southport to the SCLER at Hillhouse, and the point at which the lines met became Hillhouse Junction. Both lines were double-track.

Hillhouse Junction looking south in 1956 shortly before the line was lifted. The lines going off to the left led up to Downholland.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

Hillhouse Junction was controlled by a CLC Type 1 timber signal box with a CLC frame, opened in 1887. The signal box was located on the west side of the line adjacent to the junction. CLC passenger and goods services (and services operated by the owning companies of the CLC, the Great Northern Railway, The Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway and the Midland Railway) ran along the SCLER, and services operated by the West Lancashire Railway (WLR) ran onto and off the LSPJR railway.

By July 1897 the LSPJR had been absorbed by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR) which led to a decline in services using the junction from the former LSPJR line. This situation altered slightly in 1906 when a railmotor service was introduced between Altcar & Hillhouse and Southport Chapel Street.

Hillhouse Junction as shown on an 1893 1:2,500 OS map

On 1 January 1917 the SCLER line closed temporarily as wartime economy measure. It reopened for special services run for the Grand National on 26 March 1919 and to regular services on 1 April 1919. The railmotor from the former LSPJR did not start running until May 1919. It appears that goods services from LSPJR were not reinstated.

In 1922 the LYR merged with the London & North Western Railway, and a year later that company became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). The CLC remained independent after 1923, but its ownership changed with the LMS owning one third of it and the London & North Eastern Railway two thirds. In 1926 the LMS ceased to operate the railmotor to Altcar & Hillhouse which resulted in no traffic passing between the SCLER and the former LSPJR. The railmotor had been suspended completely for a period during the national coal strike of May to November 1926 .

Hillhouse Junction looking north in 1954. The CLC box that dated from 1887 was still standing. The lines leading straight on into the distance formed the SCLER route to Southport. Those leading off to the right led to Downholland and onward to Southport Chapel Street. Both routes were out of use by the time this picture was taken.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

Hillhouse Junction box was unmanned but available for use after 1926. Between the sectional appendix published March 1939 and the appendix of March 1940 the down main line from Hillhouse Junction to Downholland was closed completely as was the up from Hillhouse to Marquis siding. Interestingly the track at the junction was left in situ.

The line from Altcar & Hillhouse to Southport Lord Street closed completely from 7 July 1952 under the ownership of British Railways. The signal box would have closed at this time. The box and the junction were in situ as late as 1956. It is believed that the track was lifted in 1957.

Looking south from Hillhouse Junction signal box in 1954.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

Looking north at Hillhouse Junction in 1957. The branch towards Upholland had been lifted.

Just to the north of Hillhouse Junction the former LSPJR passed over a drainage channel now known as Cheshire Lines brook. The bridge is seen in this view on 25 June 2013 looking south from the west bank of the brook. Hillhouse Junction was to the right.
Photo by Tony Graham

Looking away from Hillhouse Junction towards Downholland on 25 June 2013.
Photo by Tony Graham

To see more photos at Hillhouse Junction click here.

See also: Altcar & Hillhouse and Downholland stations.




[Source:Tony Graham & Paul Wright]

Last updated: Thursday, 18-May-2017 17:21:07 CEST
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