Station Name: GARSTON CHURCH ROAD

[Source:Paul Wright]


Date opened: 1.3.1881
Location: Site lost under A561 Garston Way. The station was sited west of Church Road.
Company on opening: London & North Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 3.7.1939
Date closed completely: 3.7.1939
Company on closing: London Midland Scottish Railway
Present state: Demolished the site is now occupied by a bypass and a freightliner depot.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SJ403844
Date of visit: 21.6.2005 & 17.6.2013

Notes: Garston Church Road station was opened by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) on 1 March 1881 and was served by trains running between Liverpool Lime Street and Garston Dock. The station was located in Garston close to the main shopping area on the west side of Church Road. It was only a short distance from the Garston Dock terminus but better located for local amenities. Church Road station was on the Garston and Warrington railway which had opened from Garston to Widnes on 1 July 1852 and from Widnes to Warrington on 1 February 1853. On 1 February 1864 a line opened from Speke (to the east of Garston) to Edge Hill near Liverpool which effectively left Garston Dock at the end of a branch. On 1 January 1873 a west-to-north connection was put in from the Garston Dock line to the Edge Hill line which allowed Garston Dock to be reached directly from Liverpool Lime Street.

The station was located on an embankment. It was approached via a sloping path on the north side of the line from Church Road and from James Street. The line was double-track and two platforms, constructed from brick, were provided. The main facilities were provided on the up (Liverpool direction) platform and consisted of a single-storey timber building with an awning in the LNWR style. It housed the booking office, waiting rooms and toilets for both sexes. Adjacent to the main building on its west side was a small brick building which was probably used as a store. To the east, directly behind the main building, was the two-storey stationmaster’s house.

On the down platform (Garston Dock direction) there were only basic facilities, but it is unlikely that any passengers would have travelled between Church Road and Garston Dock as the distance was so short. The down platform would have been used almost entirely by passengers alighting from trains.

A signal box was provided at Garston Church Road station but its exact location is not known.

To the south of the station was the line that ran to the Garston docks which was used entirely by freight trains.

From the start Church Road was served only by trains running between Liverpool Lime Street and Garston Dock. By December 1895 Garston Church Road had thirteen trains in each direction on Monday-to-Friday as shown in the table below. There was one less train to Garston Dock on Saturdays, and no Sunday service.

Up Trains December 1895 Destination Down Trains December 1895 Destination
8.32am Liverpool Lime Street 8.16am Garston Dock
9.07am Liverpool Lime Street 10.11am Garston Dock
9.32am Liverpool Lime Street 11.11am Garston Dock
9.57am Liverpool Lime Street 12.36pm Garston Dock
12.07pm Liverpool Lime Street 2.11pm Garston Dock
1.07pm Liverpool Lime Street 4.11pm Garston Dock
2.07pm Liverpool Lime Street 5.14pm Garston Dock
4.07pm Liverpool Lime Street 6.06pm Garston Dock
5.07pm Liverpool Lime Street 6.41pm Garston Dock
6.12pm (Saturdays Excepted) Liverpool Lime Street 7.11pm Garston Dock
6.52pm Liverpool Lime Street 8.11pm Garston Dock
7.17pm Liverpool Lime Street 9.31pm Garston Dock
11.07pm Liverpool Lime Street 10.51pm Garston Dock

In 1906 the station signal box closed and was replaced with an LNWR Type 5 box on the eastern side of the Church Road bridge, north of the line. The box had a brick base and timber upper cabin and was provided with a 40-lever frame.

Church Road closed as a wartime economy measure on 5 April 1917 and did not reopen until 5 May 1919. The July timetable for 1922 showed that the service had decreased to eight trains in each direction Monday-to-Friday with only six departures on Saturdays.

On 1 January 1923 Church Road became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). By summer 1932 there were only four trains in each direction from Garston Church Road on Monday-to-Friday as shown in the table below. An extra train ran on Saturdays and there was no Sunday service.

Up Trains Summer 1932 Destination Down trains Summer 1932 From
7.22am Liverpool Lime Street 6.38am Garston Dock
8.12am Liverpool Lime Street 12.43pm Garston Dock
1.47pm Liverpool Lime Street 1.12pm Garston Dock
3.07pm (Saturdays Only ) Liverpool Lime Street 2.36pm (Saturdays Only ) Garston Dock
4.47pm (Saturdays Only ) Liverpool Lime Street 7.08pm Garston Dock
5.22pm (Saturdays Excepted) Liverpool Lime Street    

The LMS closed Church Road station on 3 July 1939. Garston was well served by a station on the Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC) main line between Liverpool and Manchester which offered much faster journey times to central Liverpool. Garston was also served by Liverpool Corporation trams which offered a frequent and convenient service.

Passenger services continued to pass through the site of Church Road station on the Liverpool Lime Street and Garston Dock service until 16 June 1947.

In the 1960s a Freightliner terminal was built on the south side of the line between Garston Church Road and Garston Dock stations. Freight services continued to pass through the station site running between Garston Church Road signal box and Cressington Junction until 15 August 1977. In the 1980s a Garston bypass road was built along the course of the line between Garston Church Road station and Cressington Junction. The bypass crossed Church Road on a new bridge located to the north of the railway.

After crossing over Church Road it picked up the alignment of the line to Cressington Junction roughly at the point where Garston Church Road station was located. The road obliterated all traces of the station.

Garston Church Road signal box survived until 13 June 1993. The goods lines to the Garston docks closed in 1996 but the Freightliner terminal was still operational in 2013.

The 8D Association - Dedicated to promoting the history of South Lancashire and North Cheshire railways. Web Site

Tickets by Michael Stewart route map by Alan Young.

Sources:

  • The St Helens Railway, Its Rivals and Successors – J M Tolston – The Oakwood Press 1982.
  • Bradshaw Timetable December 1895.
  • Bradshaw Timetable July 1922.
  • LMS Timetable Summer 1932.

To see the other closed stations on the Garston Dock and Liverpool Lime Street line click on the station name:
Garston Dock
, Allerton, Sefton Park & Wavertree

See the other stations on the Garston and Warrington line click on the station name: Speke, Halebank, Ditton Mill, Ditton, Widnes (1st), Widnes South, Cuerdley, Fidlers Ferry & Penketh, Sankey Bridges,
Warrington Bank Quay Low Level and Warrington Arpley


Garston Church Road station looking east along the down platform in the 1920s. The main facilities are located on the up platform which was served by trains running towards Liverpool Lime Street. Very few passengers would ever have boarded a train on the down platform as it was served only by trains running towards Garston Dock which was only a short distance away and easily walkable.
Copyright p
hoto from Stations UK



Garston Church Road station shown on a six-inch scale map from 1894.


Garston Church Road station shown on a 1905 map. The station is described as simply Church Road station on the map.


The extensive railway facilities at Garston shown on a Railway Clearing House map from 1915. Church Road passenger station is shown to the north of the docks.


Garston Church Road station seen looking north-east in the early 1970s.


Looking west from Garston Church Road signal box on 23 March 1977. In the foreground can be seen the bridge over Church Road. The station was beyond the bridge to the right. The stationmaster's house can just be seen in the top right of the picture. The station building had been adjacent to it. The entrance to the station was on Church Road where the advertisement can be seen. The extensive railway facilities that existed at Garston Docks are clearly visible.
Photo by David Lennon


Garston Church Road signal box looking north on 23 March 1977. The box which was located on the east side of Church Road opened in 1906. It replaced an earlier signal box that had been located at Church Road station. The 1906 box was an LNWR type 5 with a 40-lever frame (later reduced to 25 levers) which closed on Sunday 13 June 1993.
Photo by David Lennon


Looking east at the site of Garston Church Road station on 7 June 2013 from the same
viewpoint as the 1920s picture above.
Photo by Paul Wright


The site of Garston Church Road station seen looking east on 7 June 2013 from a point that would have been at the western end of the up platform.
Photo by Paul Wright



A view looking south along Church Road on 7 June 2013. The bridge in the foreground is part of the Garston bypass. Behind it the railway bridge is visible. The entrance to Garston Church Road station was to the right of the point where the black car can be seen under the bypass bridge.
Photo by Paul Wright

 

 

 

[Source:Paul Wright]


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