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Ellesmere Port Bay platform


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The bay has never been used as such, it was provided in about 1993/94 (with council funding, I was told) for the DMU service to Helsby and, originally, beyond to Liverpool. It had just been completed when BR decided it wasn't necessary and the present arrangement adopted.


There was a siding in a similar position but that was always part of the Goods Yard.

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The West End yard had a slow decline and was situated between Ellesmere Port Numbers 1, 2 & 3 signal boxes. Nos 1 and 3 boxes controlled the main line connections and No 2 box only worked connections in the yard and the lines to the MSC.


No 3 box closed after the bridge by the station was built (and No 2 took over its work) in about 1968.

No 1 box closed in about 1971/72 after changes to freight workings on the Wirral; most freights terminating at Ellesmere Port instead of carrying on to Birkenhead.


The West End yard was fairly busy until Bowaters paper mill closed in about 1979, bringing an end to coal trains for their power station. When the mill reopened (by Consolidated Bathurst. I think) the new owners bought their electricity from the CEGB.


Around 1979 the sidings in the yard were converted to hand operation and was only used for stock storage at this time. Some sidings were lifted piecemeal after this time.

The sidings by No 2 box (the site of the old LNWR, later MSC engine shed) were leased to a company called Jakes and were used for tank wagon cleaning - later evolving into a wagon repair service.

The final use for the sidings was when Vauxhalls started to use two freshly relaid sidings on the east side of the yard for car trains to Scotland. The service wasn't as successful as hoped and had finished by 1990ish.

The MSC lines have continued in use off and on to date.


All the above is from my unreliable memory as I'm writing from work; I'll check it for dates etc when I'm home.

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I can remember playing at Hooton Station, in the late 60s, /early 70's with my cousins- We knew the family that lived in the Stationmasters house, and were pals with their kids. My cousins lived in Oak Road, a couple of minutes walk away. Hooton Station had well seen better days by then-, all steam had gone, the docks were in decline, Woodside Station had closed, so the Fast lines were hardly in use- a sad state of affairs!

The highlight would probably be the oil trains- usually empties, with the ubiquitous '37, or '40 at the head. It would pull in, uncouple, run round the tankers, couple up, and then she would be off again- Ahh memories!

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Classes 24,25,40 & 47 were usually seen during the 1970's with class 50's occasionally appearing.

A Mottram to Birkenhead freight was usually worked by a class 37 but sometimes a Peak would be used instead; this train ceased to run when the freight services were reorganised in about 1971.

The early 1970's was the peak period for freight to Ellesmere Port and Stanlow and I remember being told by a signalman at Hooton South box that one night they had 24 run-round trains (from Chester to Ellesmere Port direction or vice versa), each of which were allowed 20 minutes to do the running around.

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