Station Name: VULCAN HALT


[Source: Paul Wright]


Date opened: 1.11.1916
Location: West side of Wargrave Road
Company on opening: London North Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 12.6.1965
Date closed completely: 12.6.1965
Company on closing: British Railways London Midland Region
Present state: Demolished
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SJ584939
Date of visit: 14.4.2010 & 13.12.2014


Notes: Vulcan Halt was situated on the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) Earlestown – Winwick Junction line which had originally opened as part of the Warrington & Newton Railway on 25 July 1831. The line went on to become part of Britain’s first trunk route, the Grand Junction Railway (GJR) which provided a link between the Liverpool & Manchester Railway at Earlestown (originally Newton Junction) and Birmingham. A railway works had opened adjacent to the Earlestown-Winwick line in 1832. Originally opened as the Charles Tayleur and Company it had become the Vulcan Foundry Ltd by 1898. Known as the Vulcan Works by the early twentieth century it had developed into one of the largest railway manufacturing facilities in the country.

After the outbreak of the First World War on 4 August 1914 many railway works were used for the manufacture of war materials or munitions. The Vulcan Works was no exception and additional workers were taken on. In order to improve access to the factory for the workers the LNWR opened Vulcan Halt on 1 November 1916.

The halt was located on the west side of Wargrave Road. To the south of the halt there was a level crossing which provided a link from Wargrave Road to fields on the west side of the line. The halt was fairly basic consisting of two wooden platforms on which stood basic wooden waiting shelters.

On the south side of the level crossing on the west side of the line there was a signal box which controlled the level crossing and a connection to sidings in the works.

The halt was served by local trains operating between Warrington Bank Quay and Earlestown or St Helens.

After the war was over the halt remained open to serve the works and the July 1922 timetable showed 9 up and 6 down services Monday-to-Friday with a couple of extra trains on Saturdays. There were no trains on Sundays.

On 1 January 1923 Vulcan Halt became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). In 1926 Vulcan officially ceased to be a ‘halt’. The LMS summer timetable for 1932 showed 15 up and 13 down trains Monday-to-Friday with extra workings on Saturdays. There was 1 down train on Sunday evenings which was probably run to service an evening shift at the Vulcan works.

During the Second World War the Vulcan Works was once again used to support the war effort and Vulcan station would have been very busy.

The LMS summer timetable for 1947 showed 9 up and 8 down trains Monday-to-Friday as shown in the table below. There was one less up train on Saturdays.

Up Trains 1947

Destination

Down Trains 1947

Destination

5.35am

Warrington Bank Quay

7.06am

St Helens

7.32am

Warrington Bank Quay

7.36am

Manchester Exchange

7.38am

Terminating service from St Helens

9.11am

St Helens

9.19am

Warrington Bank Quay

10.51am

St Helens

12.22pm

Warrington Bank Quay

1.07pm

St Helens

1.16pm (Saturdays Excepted)

Warrington Bank Quay

2.20pm

St Helens

1.28pm (Saturdays Only )

Warrington Bank Quay

4.32pm

St Helens

2.51pm

Warrington Bank Quay

5.37pm

Newton-le-Willows

4.42pm (Saturdays Excepted)

Warrington Bank Quay

5.52pm

Warrington Bank Quay

Vulcan station became part of British Railways [London Midland Region] (BR[LMR]) on 1 January 1948. It continued to serve the works throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s. By that time most of the services ran between Warrington Bank Quay and St Helens Shaw Street. The 1962 summer timetable showed 7 up trains Monday-to-Thursday and 8 on Fridays. There were 6 down trains Monday-to-Friday. On Saturdays there were 5 services in each direction and no trains called on Sundays.

In 1962/63 Vulcan once again became Vulcan Halt. The Reshaping of British Railways Report of 1963 (the Beeching Report) listed the services between St Helens & Warrington for withdrawal and Vulcan Halt for closure. The last trains ran on Saturday 12 June 1965 and Vulcan closed completely on 14 June 1965. Being a simple wooden structure it was quickly dismantled leaving little trace. The line remained open for passenger and goods services and remained so in November 2014.

The Vulcan Works closed in 2002 and was demolished in 2007.

Tickets from Michael Stewart and Brian Halford. Route map by Alan Young.

Sources:

  • Britains First Trunk Line - The Grand Junction Railway - Norman W Webster - Adams & Dart 1972
  • Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain - A Chronology - Michael Quick - RCHS 2009

To see other stations on the Grand Junction Railway between Earlestown and Crewe click on the station name:
Winwick Quay
, Warrington Dallam Lane, Warrington Bank Quay (1st), Moore, Preston Brook, Minshull Vernon and Coppenhall

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


Vulcan Halt looking south-west in the 1930s.


Vulcan Halt shown on a 1;2,500 scale map from 1928.

A view looking north in the early 1960s as an express train passes through Vulcan Halt. The basic fascilities at the halt are clearly illustrated by the view that was taken from the adjacent signal box.

Looking south at the Vulcan Halt up platform in the early 1960s.


Vulcan Halt retained its LMS 'hawkseye' signs until closure. The up platform sign is seen in this view from the early 1960s. In the background is the Vulcan Works.


Looking south towards Vulcan Halt in February 1966. The Push and Pull Farewell rail tour is seen passing through the halt after it had closed en route to Warrington.
P
hoto by Peter Spilsbury

Looking south along Wargrave Road on 14 April 2010. Vulcan Halt was to the right pf the view the up platform being located adjacent to the concrete posts.
P
hoto by Bevan Price


A surviving section of the up platform seen on 13 December 2014. The timber seen in the view was part of the north end ramp of the up platform.
Photo by Terry Callaghan

Click here to see more photos of Vulcan Halt

 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]




Last updated: Tuesday, 23-May-2017 09:07:22 BST
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