Station Name: PARKGATE (2nd site)

[Source: Paul Wright]


Date opened: 19.4.1886
Location: On the north side of Station Road.
Company on opening: Birkenhead Joint (Great Western Railway and London North Western Railway)
Date closed to passengers: 17.9.1956
Date closed completely: 7.5.1962
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished, the station house still stands in private occupation.
County: Cheshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ283781
Date of visit: 8.4.2005 & 9.8.2009

Notes: Parkgate’s 2nd station was opened on the 19th of April 1886 as part of the GWR and LNWR Joint Railway’s extension of its Hooton to Parkgate branch line to West Kirby. The station was opened with only a basic ceremony by the Joint Railways General Manager Mr W Patchett. The second Parkgate Station was located on the north side of the Neston to Parkgate road and it replaced an earlier terminus station which was located on the south side of the road. From the opening of the new station the earlier terminus became a goods station.

The station was situated on an embankment. A road connected up to the station on the east side of the line. The station itself was constructed out of timber. It had two platforms that were 340 yards long. The branch line itself was a single track line but Parkgate was designated as a passing point. Each platform was provided with a single storey building each of which

had a short canopy to protect passengers from the elements. The stations booking office was housed on the Hooton direction platform. Waiting facilities were provided on both platforms. The two platforms were linked by a subway.

Goods facilities were provided on the south side of Station Road where the goods yard was sited on the west side of the line and comprised three sidings, one serving a cattle dock for livestock.


At the time of opening passenger services mostly ran between Hooton and Parkgate with some services continuing on to Birkenhead Woodside. .At the time of opening passenger services mostly ran between Hooton and West Kirby with some services continuing on to Birkenhead Woodside. In the early days some long distance passenger services used the connection and excursion traffic used the connection at West Kirby onto the Wirral line. In later years the only significant through service was once a day when one or two coaches ran from New Brighton via Bidston to Hooton and Chester, where it was attached to a London Euston train; this ran until 1939.

One of the major users of the line were scholars travelling from stations along the route to the secondary schools in West Kirby. The line became uneconomical after WW1 with a further reduction in passenger traffic in 1927 when Neston Colliery closed but the line remained open serving a largely agricultural community and also day trippers visiting the sea side towns of Parkgate and West Kirby. 

In 1923 the line became GWR and LMS Joint but things continued as they had done previously. In 1940 the average morning takings at Parkgate for passenger fares was £100. Workers fares accounted for most of the revenue. Many Soap workers from the Lever Brothers Factory travelled from Parkgate to Port Sunlight on weekdays. Interestingly GWR fares and

LMS fares were accounted for separately and the takings banked in different ways. The LMS banked their takings locally. The GWR sent theirs by rail to Shrewsbury.

In 1948 the line became part of the British Railways (London Midland Region). In 1950 nine trains operated in each direction on weekdays with four on a Saturday. The Hooton to West Kirby line suffered from increasing road competition in the 1950s and its passenger service was withdrawn on the 17th of September 1956. Parkgate 2nd Station closed to passengers on this day.

In 1961 newly introduced DMUs passed through Parkgate station. However they were not for the use of passengers. The line was being used to train drivers in the use of the DMUs.

The goods facilities at Parkgate were located at the site of its first station which continued to be used until the 7th May 1962. Interestingly the last goods service to pass through the the second station on the 7th May 1962 called at its platforms to remove any fixtures and fittings that still remained.

In 1968 the route of the Hooton - West Kirby Branch was chosen to create Britain's first country park the Wirral Country Park opening in 1973. The park forms the central section of Wirral Way, a 12 miles cycleway and footpath that follows the course of the railway between West Kirby and Hooton.The station site is now part of the Wirral Country Park.

Tickets from Michael Stewart

To see the other stations on the Hooton - West Kirby line click on the station name:West Kirby, Kirby Park, Caldy, Thurstaston, Heswall, Parkgate (1st), Neston South, Hadlow Road & Hooton


Parkgate's second station in c.1906/7 as a group of territorial soldiers leave the station for a weeks training and camp activity in the Parkgate area.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collectio



The 1912 Ordnance Survey map shows the 2nd station on the north side of Station Road and the first station which was now the goods station on the south side of Station Road.

Parkgate Station c.1950s


Looking south at the site of Parkgate 2nd Station from the trackbed in August 2009. At this point the bridge over Station Road has been demolished so the Wirral Way cycle track diverts down the former station approach road to the left and rejoins the alignment on the south side of Station Road.
Photo by Paul Wright

The remains of the footpath that once led down to Station Road from the
West Kirby platform in August 2009

Photo by Paul Wright

April 2005

August 2009

August 2009

August 2009

August 2009

August 2009

August 2009

August 2009


click on thumbnail to enlarge

 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]



Last updated: Tuesday, 20-Apr-2010 16:11:50 BST
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