The 8D Association

The SH & RGR in Images.

We now have a large collection of pictures from both members and non members.  Some of which are rarely photographed locations.

Starting from the sidings which used to be on Spike Island the photographs show some of the workings associated with the line and the eventual decline and closure of this historic line.

Standard Class 2 2-6-0 78035 is seen shunting on Marsh Sidings the complex here was extensive and was initially the main point for the loading of coal from the Lancashire Coalfield for export. The locomotive was new to traffic on 6th November 1954 but would be withdrawn in December 1965 after a relatively short working life of 11 years. The loco was subsequently cut up by Cashmores of Great Bridge in April 1965. The sidings complex too are a distant memory and now form part of the Spike Island public open space. Of note in the background is the new bridge crossing the Mersey and the Transporter Bridge to its left.  24th February 1962.  Photo by Harry Arnold MBE / Waterway Images.

A view of the swing bridge over the Sankey Canal this bridge allowed trains to gain access to the sidings complex in the view above. Of note is the open wagon to the left loaded with timber this wagon is standing on the line which led into the dock estate and to Hutchisons Chemical works and their associated sidings.  24th February 1962.  Photo by Harry Arnold MBE / Waterway Images.

A very rare shot taken across the Sankey Canal and looking at what we believe to have been a signal box. The left hand line following the course of the canal leads to Hutchison and Co Chemical works were as the right hand line is the branch down to West Bank Docks and the Atlas Chemical Works. This branch crossed Waterloo Road south of the original SH & RGR line via an un gated crossing, then ran behind the houses of Pitt Street and Milton Street before coming to a triangular junction with the right fork for Atlas and the left for West Bank Docks.  24th February 1962.  Photo by Harry Arnold MBE / Waterway Images.

Having completed its shunting in the sidings 78035 crosses the swing bridge back towards Widnes Dock Junction. The two signal box style levers just visible to the left were for controlling the bridge. The new crossing and the transporter bridge are both visible in the background as are numerous wagons in the sidings. 24th February 1962.
Photo by Harry Arnold MBE / Waterway Images.

D2552 shunts wagons over the Garston Curve near Dock Junction note the wooden signalpost in the foreground and the very tall post in the background. Photo by Richard Mercer.

A Hunslet built diesel mechanical 0-6-0 D2552 near Dock Junction with the footbridge in the background that provided a great view of the vast amount of lines that once ran through this area. Photo by Richard Mercer.

Ex-LMS 0-6-0 (the forerunner of the Class 11) and Hunslet Class 05 in tandem over Ann Street crossing. Photo by Richard Mercer.

Taken sometime in 1981, The site of Ann Street Halt shortly before the line would be closed as a through route. The truncated remains of the GC & MR Joint loop line can be seen as can the LNWR deviation line overbridge. Photo by Paul Wright.

From nearly the same point as the previous picture after the line had closed completely on 1st November 1981, the final train to run from Widnes to St Helens had run on 31st October 1981.  February 1982.  Photo by Graham Earle.

An excellent shot of what the lifeblood of the line was, Class 40 locomotives and coal. With 40 044 heading south with a train of traditional mineral wagons complete with a brake van at either end 40026 waits to join the single line section working northbound light engine. The spur to Tanhouse Lane yard can just be seen branching off to the right. 40 044 had recently been repaired after suffering brake failure on a Peak Forest to Downham Market stone working in September 1979. The loco ran away and through a set of catch points near Chinley coming to rest buried up to the top of its wheels beside the line. If you compare the appearance of the two locos 044 does look remarkably clean. 15th February 1980.  Photo by Graham Earle.

Having just collected the single line token from Widnes No 1 Signal Box, Class 47, No 47536 heads the 08.50hrs Liverpool Lime Street to Newcastle train and heads north towards St Helens. 13th May 1979. Photo: Brian Roberts.

Seen from Widnes No1 box, 08534 with the trip working of cement tankers to Tanhouse Yard. Photo by David Lennon.

Taken in the early 1980's, a Class 25 is seen on a tracklifting train following the closure of the SH & RGR as a through route.  Photo by David Lennon.
To view more of David's interesting and extensive Flickr photostream click here:-

A 1987 view, the width of the Bradley Passage footbridge shows how extensive the lines were around the southern end of the line a one point.  Photo by John Wilson.
With the footbridge now removed the construction of Watkinson Way is in full swing.
6th August 1993.  Photo by John Wilson.

A 1987 view, the site of Appleton station devoid of track and ballast but with the Widnes bound platform intact.   Photo by John Wilson.

From the same point as the previous photo during the construction of Watkinson Way which followed the course of the railway to a point north of Farnworth and Bold. Halton View road bridge is being demolished.  6th August 1993.  Photo by John Wilson. 

A 1978 view from Halton View bridge of the trip working from the Everite works to Tanhouse Yard. This was the final working on the southern section of the SH & RGR and when this flow ended in the early 1980's, and with the new connection laid from the deviation line near Carterhouse Junction, The line was closed and lifted shortly afterwards.   Photo by Graham Earle.

The line was lifted shortly after the workings into the Everite factory ended and when the line had closed as a through route in on 1st November 1981.  Taken in February 1982. Photo by Graham Earle.

Another picture slightly further to the north during the lifting process. February 1982. Photo by Graham Earle.
Farnworth and Bold station during track lifting, it was at a point slightly north of here that the track had been lifted some years earlier.  February 1982. Photo by Graham Earle.

A rare shot taken in 1978 of the trip working into the Everite works as a Class 08 shunter delivers 2 presflow wagons into the works. Not the loading gauge frame, once a common sight across the rail network.  Photo by Graham Earle.

With the empties now shunted out onto the old main line the 08 can trip them down to Tanhouse yard as seen in a previous photo. Taken in 1978.  Photo by Graham Earle.

An English Electric Class 40 attacks the climb from Appleton to Farnworth and Bold with a rake of flat wagons.
mid 1960's. Photo from the Richard Mercer collection.

As seem in 1983, the Five Arches bridge near Bold which carries the Warrington to Liverpool Road over the railway. The bridge was constructed when the line was built but subsequently had 4 of its 5 arches infilled. It was cleaned up and the trackbed has become a cycle way between Farnworth and Bold and Sutton Manor.  Photo by Paul Wright.

Near Sutton Manor when the line had been stripped of ballast to allow a methane gas pipeline to be laid from Sutton Manor colliery to an ICI plant in Widnes. Taken in 1987. Photo by John Wilson.

The surviving connection into the exchange sidings at Sutton Manor colliery was still in place and being used, though not frequently in 1987. The mine would close within 4 years of this shot being taken and the line would be lifted to Sutton Oak junction. It was claimed at the time of the closure of Sutton Manor on 24th May 1991 that there was 40 years worth of coal still to be mined. If it had stayed open then so would the line.  Photo by John Wilson.

Taken in 1973, a diverted Class 45 passing the site of Clock Face station, the line here ran through a cutting which has subsequently been infilled and housing built on the course of the line.  Photo by Bevan Price.

Clock Face Down Sidings sees the arrival of BR Std No 76077 which was allocated to Sutton Oak shed 8G. The loco has run into the sidings complex and is about to set back its two mineral wagons into number 1 siding. Circa spring 1967.  Photo by Dave Hughes.

Clock Face Down Sidings in around Spring 1967, No 76077, seen in the previous picture, has coupled up to its short train and awaits the right away towards Widnes. Passing through, on the Up Main, is a trainload of Ford Anglia's from Halewood the wagons are the new Cartic 4 design introduced from 1966. There being more than two Cartic 4 sets visible tells us that these must have been part of the squadron production run of 1966.  Photo by Dave Hughes.
The line here crossed the L & M line on the intersection bridge and descended down towards Sutton Oak Junction, taken in 1987. The bridge has recently been removed by Network Rail to allow the electrification masts for the L & M line to be erected.  Photo by John Wilson.

Class 25 celebrity loco, No 25912 'Tamworth Castle' propels 6T68 Arpley to Sutton Oak into the Hayes Chemical plant at Sutton Oak. This was the final freight flow to use the SH & RGR and the line was closed when the works closed.  20th February 1986. Photo by John Wilson.

47016 with 6T69 Sutton Oak to Arpley return working rounding the sharp curve about to join the old main line to the north of 8G shed. The shed was still in use as a supermarket at this time.  2nd November 1990.  Photo by John Wilson.

A Dutch liveried 31/4 propels 6F87 Arpley to Sutton Oak Enterprise working. The locomotive would have run round its train near the site of Peasley Cross station and would propel the train the final half mile to the works.  January 1997.  Photo by Terry Callaghan.

BR 'Peak' Class locomotive, No 45015 on 1Z43 'Hills and Cities' Railtour passing Peasley Cross on its way to St Helens Junction in August 1985. Copyright: Doug Birmingham. 

Taken in the early 1980's, two BR Class 25 locomotives lead by 25253 on the final leg of its journey from Oakamoor with a Sand train to Ravenhead at Peasley Cross. Copyright: Doug Birmingham

Having departed from Hayes Chemicals at Sutton Oak, No 37707 is seen at Peasley Cross 'run round loop' with two bogie tanks in tow heading to St Helens Central Station with 6F88 to Arpley Sidings. August 2002. Copyright: Doug Birmingham.  

BR Brush Type 2 A1A-A1A diesel-electric locomotive No 31252 of Tinsley TMD running off the Departure Line at while running around 'Trip 71' from Walton Old Junction (6T71). Note the siding at the front of the rake of wagons which led into the United Glass Bottles works. 11th March 1988.   Photo by David Ingham.

BR Brush Type 2 A1A-A1A class 31/1 diesel-electric locomotive number 31252 of Tinsley TMD passes Ravenhead Junction signal box 13 signal with 6T71 from Walton Old Junction. Ravenhead Junction signal box 13 signal (up goods home to arrival line) is on small tubular post mounted on a platform to the left of the main tubular post which carries 19 signal (up goods home) with St Helens Station signal box's Up Goods fixed distant signal below it. On the left is Ravenhead Junction signal box 18 signal (set back down goods to up goods or to arrival line), which is a London Midland and Scottish Railway 1941 type standard dwarf signal.  11th March 1988.  Photo by David Ingham.

BR Brush Type 2 A1A-A1A class 31/1 diesel-electric locomotive number No 31252 of Tinsley TMD runs off the Arrival Line at Ravenhead Junction with 6T71 from Walton Old Junction. Ravenhead Junction signal box (left to right) 8 signal (from arrival line to down goods), 2 signal (departure line home) and 4 signal (down goods home) are all carried on tubular post. Below 8 signal was formerly 9 signal which was removed sometime in the mid-1980s. At the time it was still marked on the signal box's diagram and the lever in the frame was still painted red. 9 signal applied to movements from the Arrival Line through 11B points to a unnamed siding.  11th March 1988.   Photo by David Ingham.
To view more of David Inghams extensive collection of photographs click here:-

Dutch liveried 31/4 passes the final signal in use on the SH & RGR line, which protected the junction with the Liverpool to Wigan line near St Helens Central. This working was diagrammed as 6F88 Sutton Oak to Walton Yard, Enterprise working. January 1997.  Photo by Terry Callaghan.

BR Standrard 4 MT 2-6-0 No 76079 passing over the Sankey Navigation near St Helens Shaw Street station with a train load of sand hoppers probably for the Pilkingtons sidings at Ravenhead. The loco was new to traffic in February 1957 to Sutton Oak, which at the time was classified as 10D the loco was withdrawn from Wigan Springs Branch in December 1967. The loco was then despatched to the Barry Scrapyard were it was purchased and moved to Steamtown Southport in July 1974 where it was a static exhibit it was then moved to a site at Liverpool for rebuilding. The loco was restored and returned to working order initially by Derek Foster, then purchased by Ian Riley and Son at the East Lancashire Railway Loco Works. It is currently main line registered and now owned by North Yorkshire Moors.  Photographer Unknown.  From the David Ingham Collection.

If you have enjoyed this page and have any relevant photographs from along this historic line and would like to share them with us please send them to '8d.association at' they will be fully credited and shown here.

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