Station Name: SEACOMBE

[Source: Paul Wright]
Date opened: 1.6.1895
Location: North west of Church Road/Borough Road junction opposite Seacombe Ferry Terminal.
Company on opening: Wirral Railway
Date closed to passengers:

4.1.1960

Date closed completely: 16.6.1963
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state:

Demolished - the site of Seacombe Station was used for housing and only a small section of sandstone wall remains.

County: Cheshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ324908
Date of visit: 21.5.2005 & January 2010
Notes: The line on which the terminal station of Seacombe stood was the last addition to the Wirral Railway Companies (WR) network of lines that stretched from Birkenhead to West Kirby and to New Brighton. The branch to Seacombe left the New Brighton branch at Seacombe Junction from where heavy engineering was required to drive the line through a sandstone ridge and through to the banks of the Mersey at Seacombe. There was only one other station on the line called Liscard & Poulton.

The station was located on the north side of Church Road and to the west of Borough Road close to the Seacombe Ferry terminal which offered good connections to Liverpool. Church Road curved around to the north and passed over the line at the stations western end by means of a large single span iron bridge. At the time of opening the station was provided with two timber built platforms that provided three platform faces. The southernmost platform which was adjacent to Church Road had a single platform face and the northernmost was an island platform. The station was accessed from Borough Road on which stood a single storey timber built building at the eastern end of the southernmost platform.

A signalbox located on the north side of the line at the west end of the station, adjacent to the Church Road bridge, controlled train movements.

The reason why the station was timber built and very basic was because the WR intended to build a more substantial station adjacent to the actual ferry terminal. The idea was never realised and Seacombe Station was to remain much the same throughout its life.

When the station opened on the 1st June 1895 it was served by trains that ran to West Kirby. Nineteen trains per day ran in each direction on weekdays at half hourly intervals with nine on Sundays. Passenger numbers were high with over 2000 being carried over the first weekend of operation.

From 1897 the WR introduced a train service to New Brighton which was known locally as the ‘Seacombe Dodger’ but was never really very successful as it took a somewhat indirect route to the resort which lies only a few miles to the north of Seacombe by road. In 1899 it ran only during the afternoons and evenings and it was designed to cater for tourists travelling from Liverpool on the Ferry. Competition from the Wallasey Borough tramways from 1902 did not help. The service survived until 1910.

On the 1st May 1898 train services of the Wrexham, Mold & Connahs Quay Railway (WM&CQR) that linked Wrexham to Bidston were with the agreement of the WR extended to run through to Seacombe. By this date the WM&CQR had effectively become part of the Great Central Railway (GCR) but the situation was not formalised until 1904. The Wrexham trains proved very popular with Liverpool residents who used them to enjoy a day out in the Country.

Seacombe goods yard was half a mile west of the passenger station on the west side of Oakdale Road. It comprised 5 sidings on the north side of the line, one serving a cattle dock and pens. There was also a 5-ton crane and two weigh bridges. In 1904 private sidings also served the Seacombe Pressed Brick and Tile Works, Wallasey Urban District Council gas works and the English McKenna Process Company.

On the 1st July 1901 Seacombe Station was renamed as Seacombe and Egremont. By 1906 there were thirteen GCR departures on weekdays from Seacombe between 07:50 and 20:55. Five of the departures went to Chester Northgate, one to Buckley Junction with the remainder serving Wrexham. The WR ran sixteen trains on weekdays from Seacombe to West Kirby in 1906.

In 1923 Seacombe & Egremont Station became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) and the former GCR train service became part of the London North Eastern Railway (LNER). By 1929 the LMS had reduced the Seacombe to West Kirby service to one train per hour in each direction but the LNER continued to offer an extensive service to Chester Northgate and Wrexham.

In the early 1930s the LMS drew up plans for the electrification of the former WR lines between Birkenhead Park, West Kirby and New Brighton. The Seacombe Branch was not considered. In 1938 the electrification was complete and it allowed passengers to travel direct between Liverpool and West Kirby as there was an end on connection between the LMS and the under river Mersey Railway at Birkenhead Park. This made travelling by Ferry to Seacombe to connect to a West Kirby train far less attractive. Passengers could also travel from Liverpool to Bidston by train and connect directly into the LNER service. Seacombe & Egremont Station suffered as a result and the West Kirby service was withdrawn on the 12th March 1938.

During the early years of the Second World War Seacombe & Egremont Station was used to evacuate thousands of local Children to the safety of the Countryside.

On the 1st January 1948 Seacombe & Egremont Station became part of the nationalised British Railways (London Midland Region) and from the 5th January 1953 it reverted to being simply Seacombe. During the early years of the 1950s the island platform was reconstructed using concrete sections backfilled with gravel. A new entrance was provided which led directly onto the platform and the southernmost platform was taken out of use. In the late 1950s thirteen trains ran from Seacombe to either Wrexham or Chester on weekdays with only three trains on a Sunday running to Wrexham only. British Railways decided to close Seacombe and Liscard & Poulton Stations and divert the Wrexham and Chester trains to New Brighton. The last service left Seacombe for Wrexham on Sunday the 3rd January 1960 and the station closed to passenger services. The line lingered on for a few more years as a goods line but the last services in June 1963. Much of the alignment of the Seacombe branch was used to form the Kingsway Road Tunnel that opened in 1971 but the station site itself was used for a housing development. Only a small section of sandstone wall remains today.

Ticket from Michael Stewart, Bradshaw from Nick Catford, route map drawn by Alan Young

Sources:

See also Liscard & Poulton

To see other stations on the Wrexham Central to Bidston Line click

Wrexham Central, Wrexham Exchange, Rhosddu, Hope High Level, Buckley (1st station), Chester Golf Club Halt, Birkenhead Junction Golf Club Platform, Sealand Rifle Range Halt, Burton Point, Storeton,

See also MS&LR Stations between Shotton and Chester Northgate
Chester Junction Golf Club Platform, Sealand, Saughall, Blacon, Chester Liverpool Road, Chester Northgate

See also related items

The Buckley Railway
Hawarden Loop
Hawarden Bridge

Railways at Bidston



Seacombe station in 1938 shortly before services to West Kirby ceased to run. Trains running on the former Wirral Railway to West Kirby used the two platforms to the left. From 1923 until 1938 they were operated by the LMS. To the right a train can be seen preparing to depart. It would have been an LNER service for Wrexham Central or Chester Northgate. LNER services, and before them GCR services, used this platform until 1938. After the LMS withdrew its trains only LNER services ran. An interesting situation as the station was an LMS facility.

Photo from John Mann collection




1899 1:2,500 OS map


1911 1:2,500 OS map


1911 1:2,500 OS map showing Seacombe goods yard.


Railway staff pose for the camera at Seacombe station in 1901. Fourth from right on the back row is Squire Wareing who worked for the Wirral Railway at that time.
Photo from the Brian Wareing collection


A Wrexham Central service prepares to depart from the recently reconstructed island platform at Seacombe Station in August 1953. With the ending of the West Kirby service in 1938 three platform faces were no longer necessary. British Railway's decided that only the island platform needed to be upgraded and the platform on the right of the picture was taken out of use. In the background the clock tower of the Seacombe Ferry terminal from which ferries operated to Liverpool can clearly be seen.
Copyright photo by R M Casserley


Looking west from the buffer stops at Seacombe station in 1955. A train from either Wrexham Central or Chester Northgate had just arrived and the engine was preparing to run around in readiness for the return journey.
Photo from John Mann collection


Seacombe station looking west in the 1950s. A three coach train to either Chester Northgate or Wrexham Central is preparing to depart.
Photo from the Jim Lake Collection



Looking towards the northwest at Seacombe Station in 1959. By this date only the island platform, which had been reconstructed in the early 1950s was in use. Previously the island platform had been of wooden construction just like the disused platform that can be seen on the left of the picture. A tank engine prepares to run around its train which would then depart for either Wrexham Central or Chester Northgate.
Photo by Ben Brooksbank


Looking west from the 1950s built entrance at Seacombe station shortly after it had closed in 1960. Originally both of the stations platforms had been constructed out of wood but in the early 1950s the island platform was rebuilt using concrete backfilled with gravel. A new entrance was created from Borough Road at the same time. The platform to the left of the picture was taken out of use after the island platform had been reconstructed. The building on the left is the original station ticket office and waiting room.
Copyright photo from Stations UK


Looking towards the east at the site of Seacombe Station in January 2010. The view is taken from the site of the bridge which carried Church Road over the line. In the distance can be seen Liverpool which could be reached from Seacombe by Ferry.
Photo by Paul Wright

 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]


Home Page
Last updated: Tuesday, 26-Apr-2016 20:16:31 BST
© 1998-2014 Disused Stations