Station Name: SAUGHALL

[Source: Paul Wright]

Date opened: 31.3.1890
Location: On the east side of Seahill Road
Company on opening: Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway
Date closed to passengers: 1.2.1954
Date closed completely: 1.2.1954
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Although all buildings have been demolished the overgrown platforms are extant with a footpath/cycleway running through the platforms. The goods yard is now a modern housing development comprising Elm Tree Road and Yew Tree Avenue with six railway cottages extant end the end of Yew Tree Avenue.
County: Flintshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ355691
Date of visit: 17.4.2005 & 3.4.2011

Notes: Saughall station was in the curious position of being within Wales, yet it took its name from a neighbouring parish in England. The station was closer to the village of Sealand, and within its parish. Sealand’s station was a mile-and-a-half west of the village, but close to Sealand RAF base which it was intended to serve.

Saughall station was situated on the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railways (MSLR) Chester Northgate to Hawarden Bridge line which opened on 31st March 1890 and provided a connection to the Wrexham Mold & Connah’s Quay Railway (WM&CQR). The WMCQR line ran from Wrexham to Shotton. The MSLR had to cross the River Dee at
what became Hawarden Bridge to make a connection with the WMCQR line. With the opening of the MSLR line a route between Chester and Wrexham had been created which could compete with the 1846 Great Western Railway (GWR) route between the two towns.

An avoiding line was also built to the east at Chester so that trains could pass from west to east through the city and onto the Cheshire Lines Committee’s (CLC) Chester and Manchester line without having to reverse at Chester Northgate. However the avoiding line was generally used only by goods and excursion services.

Saughall station was opened with the line. The route was double-track and the station, which was on the east side of a bridge where Seahill Road crossed over the line, had two platforms. Access was via a driveway which led to a generously proportioned, two-storey brick station building with attractive ‘Stockbroker Tudor’ black-and-white pseudo half-timber decoration
and overhanging gables. The building was on the eastbound platform, north of the line. The westbound platform was provided with a simple waiting shelter.

There was a small goods yard comprising two sidings running behind the up platform. The sidings passed either side of a cattle dock with a 5-ton crane. There were six railway cottages at the east end of the goods yard.

At the time of opening Saughall was served by four trains in each direction between Chester Northgate Station and Wrexham Central.

On 16th March 1896 the MSLR and WMCQR opened a line from Hawarden Bridge to a junction with the Wirral Railway (WR) at Bidston. Agreement had been reached with the WR that MSLR/WMCQR trains could operate on their system. A passenger service was introduced on 18th May 1896 between Chester Northgate and Bidston. On 1st May 1898 the
service was extended to Seacombe & Egremont on the west bank of the River Mersey where a ferry terminal offered a service to Liverpool. The new service provided Saughall passengers with a link to Liverpool.

On 1st August 1897 the MSLR changed its name to the Great Central Railway (GCR). On 1st January 1905 the GCR absorbed the WMCQR giving it complete control of the entire route to Wrexham and to Birkenhead. In 1906 five trains per day ran to Seacombe & Egremont on weekdays. More services ran to Wrexham Central, and all eastbound trains
travelled to Chester Northgate.

From 1st January 1923 Saughall station was administered by the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) but train service patterns were unaltered.

On 1st January 1948 Saughall became part of the nationalised British Railways’ Eastern Region. However, some months later the ex-LNER system of lines in the Wirral and NE Wales was reallocated to the London Midland Region. The station continued to be served by trains to Seacombe & Egremont, to Wrexham Central and to Chester Northgate but being
in a remote location it was not well used, and British Railways closed it completely on 1st February 1954.

Passenger services continued to pass through the station site running between Chester Northgate and New Brighton and between Chester Northgate and Wrexham until they were withdrawn on 9th September 1968.

The line continued to be used by goods traffic between Hawarden Bridge Junction and Mickle Trafford until 20th April 1984. The station had remained extant until this time but the main building was demolished some time before 1986. On 31st August 1986 the line reopened, again only for goods services, but as a single-track line. At Saughall station the line weaved
between both platforms, at the west end being adjacent to the former westbound platform and at the east end being adjacent to the former eastbound platform. The reason for this was that only the better sections of track were used. The reopening was short-lived, and the line closed again in June 1992. The track was mothballed for a while, but it was lifted before the end of the decade. In 2000 a footpath and cycleway was opened along the course of the line. At the site of Saughall station the platforms were extant in 2011. The track bed through Saughall station now forms part of the 8-mile Chester - Connah's Quay railway path part of National Cycle Network Route 5.

Tickets from Michael Stewart, route map drawn by Alan Young, timetable from Chris Totty

Sources:

To see other stations on the Chester Northgate to Wrexham Central Line click
Chester Northgate, Chester Liverpool Road,
Blacon, Sealand, Chester Junction Golf Club Platform, Chester Golf Club Halt, Hope High Level, Rhosddu, Wrexham Exchange, Wrexham Central

See also stations between Chester Junction and Bidston
Birkenhead Junction Golf Club Platform, Sealand Rifle Range Halt, Burton Point, Storeton

See also
Liscard & Poulton & Seacombe

See also related items

Hawarden Loop
Hawarden Bridge

Railways at Bidston


Looking east along the eastbound platform at Saughall station c.1910. The station appears to be very well kept by its Great Central Railway employees.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection



1899 1:2,500 OS map

looking northeast towards Saughall station c.1910 when it was part of the Great Central Railway
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Looking west from Saughall stations west bound platform in October 1951 as a local stopping service to Chester Northgate arrives at the eastbound platform. The short formation of the train suggests that it may have originated from Shotton. There were at this time short workings between
Chester Northgate and Shotton. The loco is 67433, a 4-4-2 tank, built at Gorton (GCR) works in March 1905, to a Robinson design and GCR classed 9K. First numbered 5456, it was renumbered 7433 by the LNER. Nationalisation saw it shedded at 6E, Wrexham (LNER) and renumbered 67433. Finally it was withdrawn from 37A, Ardsley shed on 31.1.1958 and cut up at its birthplace in February 1959.
Photo from John Mann collection


On 6 September 1968 the 13.55 Chester Northgate to New Brighton train is seen passing through Saughall station. Although the station had been closed for 14 years it was very well kept due to the efforts of the resident of the station house.
Photo by Keith Holt from the KDH Flickr photostream


Saughall station seen from Seahill Road on 6 September 1968.
Photo by Keith Holt from the KDH Flickr photostream

Saughall Station in April 1977
P
hoto by Alan Young

Saughall station looking east in June 1980. The station had been closed for more than a decade but goods services still passed through.
Photo by John Mann

A train from Shotton Steel Works at the site of Saughall station in June 1992. It is crossing from one line to the other. As the line had been closed for a few years the track was in poor condition. It re-opened as a single line and the best sections were chosen. This led to a number of points where trains crossed from one line to the other.
P
hoto by Dave Sallery from The Wrexham - Bidston Railway on the Penmorfa web site

Saughall station looking west at the down platform in April 2005. Photo by
Paul Wright

Looking east at Saughall station in April 2011. Both of the station's platforms could still be seen although the western end of the westbound platform had been demolished so that an access path could be accommodated. The large house to the left occupied part of the land on which the station building once stood.
Photo by Paul Wright

A modern aerial photograph shows that all the original land boundaries have been maintained . The railway runs diagonally across the picture and is now part of the Chester - Connah's Quay railway path. The goods yard has now been redeveloped as a small housing estate. The original six railway cottages can be seen on the right.


April 2005

April 2011


Click on thumbnail to enlarge

 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]


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