September 2014

The West Lancashire Railway Tour – Sunday 7 September

Posted by Robert Hampton on 11th September 2014 at 10:09 am

The Friends of the 502 Group held a tour of the former West Lancashire, Southport to Preston line on Sunday 7 September 2014. The tour was to commemorate 50 years to the day since the closure of the line during the infamous Beeching cuts.

In glorious sunshine, the tour started at Southport, visiting station sites and various surviving remains of the former line including Hesketh Park, Meols Cop works, Churchtown, Banks, Hundred End and Hesketh Bank. At Hesketh Bank the participants sampled the delights of the West Lancashire Light Railway.

The tour then continued on to Longton Bridge then New Longton & Hutton. A road built on the former track bed allowed us to travel along a section of line and through Penwortham (Cop Lane) station down platform. We stopped near the River Ribble and walked over a bridge next to the former railway line and into the site of Preston Fishergate Station, now a housing estate. Our tour guide for the day Tony Kuivala, joined by Keith Hick, gave an informative and entertaining commentary.

A recording of the last train on the line was played, courtesy of Jim Ford, during the trip back to Southport via the Up Platform at Penwortham (Cop Lane) ending what will hopefully be the first of many such tours.

Our thanks go to Merseyside Transport Trust, Ormskirk, Preston and Southport Travellers’ Association, West Lancashire Light Railway, and Don Fraser Coaches for their valued assistance.

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