Station Name: NORTON

[Source: Paul Wright]
Date opened: March 1852 (first appeared in timetable)
Location: On the south side of Norton Station Road
Company on opening: Birkenhead Joint (GW & LNWR)
Date closed to passengers: 1.9.1952
Date closed completely: 1.9.1952
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Station building in use as private dwelling platforms demolished
County: Cheshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ559816
Date of visit: 9.2.2005

Norton Station was situated on the Birkenhead, Lancashire & Cheshire Joint Railway’s (BLCJR) Warrington and Chester line which opened on the 31st October 1850. Norton Station did not open with the line but following a serious railway accident that took place in the Sutton Tunnel on the 30th April 1851 a report by Captain R. E. Laffan recommended that a station be opened at each end of the tunnel and that they be linked together by electric telegraph. Norton was the station provided at the northern end of the tunnel. The station at Norton first appeared in the public timetable in March 1852.

Norton station was located on the south side of a road overbridge which carried what became Station Road over the line. The BLCJR was a double track railway so Norton was provided with two platforms. The stations main facilities were located in a two storey brick built building on west side of the line on the down (towards Warrington) platform. The brick
building was rendered so as to give a smooth finish. The building provided booking and waiting facilities and it also incorporated a Station Masters house. On the up platform there was a simple brick built waiting shelter. An approach road connected the main station building with the public highway and this was the main approach to the station. Access to the Chester direction platform was via s set of steps that led down from a gateway on the east side of the road overbridge. At the southwest end of the Chester platform there was signalbox. Norton Station had no goods facilities.

At the time of opening Norton Station was served by trains that ran between Warrington and Chester and onward to Birkenhead.

On the 1st of August 1859 the BLCJR became the Birkenhead Railway but within a matter of months it was taken over jointly by the Great Western Railway (GWR) and the London North Western Railway (LNWR) as the Birkenhead Joint Railway on the 1st January 1860. The GWR used the line through Norton as a means of access to Manchester via Warrington and lines belonging to the LNWR. Norton Station however remained very much a local facility.

In the early years of the 20th Century Norton was known for its fine floral displays which were created by its staff. In 1923 the LNWR share in the joint line passed to the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) who absorbed the former company as part of the ‘Grouping’ of the country’s many railway companies into four large organisations. The GWR
retained its own identity. On the 20th March 1926 Norton was renamed as Norton Cheshire but the Cheshire was dropped circa 1932/3 and the station reverted to being just Norton.

Norton Station was in a fairly isolated location so it was never very busy. It did not survive long after the nationalisation of Britain’s Railway in 1948 closing on the 1st of September 1952.
The line through the station site remained busy with both local and long distance passenger services and a steady stream of goods trains. In the early 1960s the land around Norton station was designated to become part of a Runcorn ‘New Town’. By the 1980s there was much residential development close to the line and the Runcorn Development Corporation decided that a station should be provided. They provided funding for a station but rather than re-opening Norton a new facility was built slightly to the south west. The new station was named Runcorn East and opened on the 3rd October 1983.

The platforms at Norton Station are no longer extant but the station building is still in situ and in use as a private residence.  

Source – British Railway Companies by Christopher Awdrey

Tickets from: Peter Blackmore

To see the other stations on the Chester - Warrington line click on the station name: Mickle Trafford, Dunham Hill, Halton & Daresbury

Norton station looking southwest in December 1965 as an ex-LMS Class 5 locomotive heads towards Warrington with a fast goods service. Despite being closed for over ten years the station was remarkably intact.
Photo by M J Esau

1898 1:2,500 OS map.

Looking northeast at Norton station c. 1970/1. At this time the stations platforms and the original signalbox were extant. Close observation shows that demolition work had begun on the former up platform, to the right of the picture. The signalbox had an open fire for heating. Coal for use by signalmen can be seen heaped at the end of the up platform.
Photo by David Lennon

Looking northeast from the signalbox at Norton station c. 1970/1. Work had started on the demolition of the stations platforms. By the time this photograph was taken over half of the length of the down platform had already been removed
Photo by David Lennon
Looking north east at Norton station in the early 1970s after the stations platforms had been removed. The train, hauled by a Sulzer type 2 diesel (Class 25) was on route to either Llandudno or Holyhead.
Photo by David Lennon

Norton Station looking towards the South West in September 1995. By this date the up platform had been demolished and the Warrington direction platform had been cut back by a few metres. Also the station building, in use as a private residence, had lost its waiting room area by this time. The shape of the waiting room area can be seen on the side wall . In the background can be seen Runcorn East station which opened in 1983 to serve the 'New Town' areas of Runcorn which had developed after Norton Station closed.
hoto by Alan Young

Norton Station in February 2005
hoto by Paul Wright

Norton station looking towards the South West as darkness falls in January 2010. Although the platforms are no longer extant the station building is still standing in more or less its original form. In the distance can be seen Runcorn East Station which opened in October 1983. The signalbox on the left of the line stands on a location which was just at the end of Norton stations
up platform.
Photo by Mark Aldred

Norton Station as seen from the station approach road in June 2010. A period LMS target sign, possibly an original, has been fitted to the modern extension which occupies the site of the ticket office and waiting room.
hoto by Paul Wright




[Source: Paul Wright]

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