Station Name: WARRINGTON ARPLEY

 

[Source: Paul Wright]


Date opened: 1.5.1854
Location: On the south side of Wilson Patten Street
Company on opening: St. Helens Railway and Warrington & Stockport Railway
Date closed to passengers: 15.9.1958
Date closed completely: 9.8.1965
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished - the site of Arpley Station is lost under areas of sidings and its approach road is now a car park.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SJ606877
Date of visit: 13.3.2005
Notes: Warrington Arpley Station was situated on what was to become known as the Ditton Junction to Skelton Junction line. It was opened on 1.5.1854 as a joint station between the Warrington and Stockport Railway and the St. Helens Railway (formerly the St. Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway) who both opened lines into Warrington in 1853. The St. Helens Railway arrived in the town at a temporary terminus at Whitecross on 1.2.1853 with a line from Garston Dock, whilst the Warrington and Stockport Railway (which did not actually run to Stockport but to Altincham) ran to a temporary terminus at Wilderspool and opened on 1.11.1853

On the 1.5.1854 the two lines were joined together at a new joint station Warrington Arpley which also served as the headquarters of the Warrington and Stockport Railway. The station had a grand façade and overall roof but only ever had two platforms, although four tracks passed through it. A connection running east to south was also made from the new station to the LNWR Newton and Birmingham line and to the Birkenhead Joint Railway's Chester Line.

The line from Garston to Altrincham connected at the latter location with the MSJ&A line created an alternative Liverpool to Manchester route to that of the LNWR. However by 1860 the LNWR had a lease on the Warrington and Stockport line and on 1.1.1861 bought it out completely. It was only then a matter of time and on 1.8.1864 the St. Helens Railway was absorbed also. This was to seal the lines fate as from this point forward it would always be a secondary route as far as passenger services were concerned.

In 1868 the LNWR lifted the elevation of their Newton to Birmingham line so that it crossed the former St. Helens Railway Garston line on a bridge. They built a new station on two levels with platforms serving both lines. This new station was called Warrington Bank quay and it was less than half a mile away from Arpley. The LNWR did not want two stations on the same line this close so they closed Arpley on 16.11.1868. This decision was met with storms of protest from the citizens of the town as Arpley was closer to the Town centre. The LNWR closure decision was challenged legally and they were forced with bad grace to reopen the station on 2.10.1871
At some point in the 20th century Arpley lost its overall roof but it continued to offer a number of local services along various parts of the line with most trains being between Ditton Junction and Manchester Oxford Road. Some trains did run from Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester but they were not very frequent. This was the service that continued up to the end of passenger services and in later years it was provided by a tank engine and Push/Pull sets of coaches. There was a brief interlude when DMU's were tried in the late 1950's.

Warrington Arpley Station closed to passengers for the second and final time on 4.9.1958 and the station was demolished in 1960. Regular passenger services on the line continued for a few more years calling at the nearby Bank Quay station until 1962

The Arpley location was always a busy area for Goods and remains so to this day although the line to the east, the original Warrington and Stockport Railway is now truncated at Latchford. By the 1980's expensive repairs were needed to the bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal at Latchford and many trains could take alternative routes. The line closed east of Latchford with the last booked trains running on 7.7.1985

Today the site of Arpley Station is lost under areas of sidings and its approach road is now a car park.

To see the other stations on the Ditton Junction to Skelton Junction Line click on the station name: Ditton, Widnes South, Cuerdley, Fidlers Ferry & Penketh, Sankey Bridges, Warrington Bank Quay Low Level, Latchford, Thelwall, Lymm, Heatley & Warburton,
Dunham Massey
& Broadheath.



Warrington Arpley Station in the 1950's


The site of Warrington Arpley Station looking east in March 2005. The station was
just to the right of the signal box
P
hoto by Paul Wright

Warrington Arpley Station forecourt in 1962
P
hoto by Alan Atwood


Click on thumbnail to enlarge

 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]


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