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Birkenhead Dock Branch Line - March 2013

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So the night started out like any other. There I was watching You've Been Framed” when I get a phone call from Xan_Asmodi asking if we where still on for tonight and did I want to do the Birkenhead Dock Branch line. Obviously the answer was a big fat yes! So ten minuets later I had my bag packed and was on the train to meet Xan.

Where nearly suffered some disappointment when we discovered that the normal access rout had been closed, but we managed to find another entrance, so off we went.

A little history from Wiki:

The branch is approximately 4.5 miles (7 km) in length and is accessible by rail from Bidston East junction. The former Mollington Street Depot was joined to the branch line. Part of the branch runs through Haymarket Tunnel and a low-level cutting. The cutting is situated in the centre of Birkenhead, visible from the road flyovers which are in the town centre. The disused Canning Street North signal box and level crossing are also situated on the branch. Level crossings are also situated across Duke Street and Wallasey Bridge Road.

The last known locomotives to have served on this stretch of track were Birkenhead North's allocation of Class 03 shunters, all of which have been preserved.

A future option for this line, as the trackwork is still mainly in place, may be to use it as a heritage railway line which would be beneficial to local trade and tourism. Preserving this line could see the very first heritage standard gauge railway on Merseyside. If the line was to be converted into a heritage railway, there is scope and space for a new depot and exhibition warehouse to be built at either Mollington Street, Cavendish sidings or Bidston Dock. Alternatively, should part of the line ever be recommissioned by Network Rail for passenger use, there is space at the site of the former Mollington Street depot, and the site of Birkenhead Town station, for a mainline station connection, to be built, for possible direct future services to Chester and Crewe. Such a station, at the Mollington Street site, would essentially be Birkenhead Central high-level, as it would be possible to connect the upper and lower levels together, by the use of a concourse.

The former Railtrack has, in the past, indicated an interest in seeing the line reopened for goods services. However, Network Rail as of 2012 has not followed through with any action in this regard.

This place isnt the most exciting explores but it was good for cutting my teeth on, thanks to Xan for showing me the ropes.

This is my first report so take it easy on me :) and i apologise for the quality of the pictures in advance.



Spectral Xan







There was allot of pigeon poop





Unfortunately there wasnt much to photograph apart from pigeon poo and drug paraphernalia.



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