The 8D Association

LNWR Liverpool Lime Street to Speke Junction.

This section covers the line from Liverpool Lime Street Station (south train shed) via Wavertree Junction to Speke Junction only. For the line between Speke Junction and Ditton Junction, refer to the Garston and Warrington Railway section.


The section of line between Speke and Edge Hill was opened by the St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway on 15th February 1864 consisting of two lines only and an extension of the line that was going to Garston. Initially only two stations were opened, one at Mossley Hill (named Mossley Hill for Aigburth) and the other at Allerton. On 29th July 1864, it was incorporated into the London and North Western Railway and in 1869, with the opening of the Britannia Railway bridge across the River Mersey between Widnes and Runcorn, it became a through route from Liverpool to London. 

In 1870, a new station was constructed and opened at Wavertree, near to Wellington Road. A new curve was constructed in 1873 between Allerton and Garston Dock with a passenger service commencing between Garston Dock and Liverpool Lime St. This lasted until 16 June 1947.  On 13 July 1891, LNWR quadrupled the line from Wavertree Junction to Ditton Junction were the existing stations were subsequently rebuilt to accommodate the extra two lines. The following year, another new station was built at Smithdown Road and called Sefton Park, opened on 1st June 1892. The line remained like this until the mid 1950’s other than with the exception of ownership transferring to the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923, and than part of the nationalised British Railways on 1st January 1948. Also another new station was opened at West Allerton on 2nd January 1939.

Having just passed Allerton Station, a BR Standard 4MT Class locomotive, No 75030 on Class 2 stopper train heads south and to the right, you are abe to see the CLC ex loco, now Allerton carriage shed. 27th August 1954. Photograph by the late J.A.Peden. 

By the late 1950’s, two stations were closed, namely Wavertree (1958) and then Sefton Park (1960) but in 1959, the line was electrified between Liverpool Lime Street and Crewe, along with the remaining stations being rebuilt to a more modern style. On 1st January 1962, electric passenger service began with the introduction of electric multiple units. 

Since then the line has remained static with the exception of a direct connection with the CLC line at Allerton Junction in 1966 which provided a direct link to Widnes and Warrington Central from Liverpool Lime Street. Ultimately this led to the eventual closure of Liverpool Central Station with the CLC (temporary) closed until revived as part of the 3rd rail Merseyrail system as far as Garston, then Hunts Cross during the 1970’s and later. 

Old meets new and a gentle reminder of yesterday too! Ex LMS 'Princess Royal' Class, No 6201 'Princess Elizabeth' on her old stomping ground with a down 'Merseyside Express' passing through West Allerton Station. In truth it was a London Euston to Liverpool Lime St  Past Time railtour with the added bonus it was the photographers son, who is learning out of the cab was the fireman for the occasion. 10th February 2007. Copyright: Doug Birmingham.

In 2005, Allerton Station was closed but on the site, a new station was constructed and along with the closure of the nearby Garston Station, opened in mid 2006 as Liverpool South Parkway Station serving both the ex LNWR and CLC lines. During 2018, resignalling and associated work was carried out on the line which necessitated the closure of the existing signal boxes at Allerton Junction, Speke Junction amongst others, and transfer of control to the new Railway Operating Centre at Manchester. Certainly the line has a good future ahead of it.  

The modern face of today's railway! A Canadian EMD built GBRf Class 66, No 66735 'Peterborough United' on a diverted Liverpool Biomass Terminal to Drax AES 'biomass' train, passes through a 21st century Liverpool South Parkway station. Compare this image with the one at the top of the page and not much has change, has it? 1st August 2019. Copyright: Doug Birmingham

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