Historical Liverpool to Scotland through service via Ormskirk

Status
Not open for further replies.
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

70014IronDuke

Established Member
Joined
13 Jun 2015
Messages
2,885
Lets hope so !! At one time i think all Scottish trains went via Ormskirk.

For some decades, I think. (Not sure if they went that way pre-1922, or via Hellifield). As in last regular steam hauled passenger train on 03/08/68 too.

EDIT: In general, I don't think they stopped at Ormskirk, however.
 

furnessvale

Established Member
Joined
14 Jul 2015
Messages
4,042
From Exchange
I stand to be corrected but I believe the last mainline scheduled steam hauled passenger service, Preston to Liverpool Exchange, 3.8.68, was in fact a portion of a Scotland to Liverpool service via Ormskirk.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
65,596
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
For some decades, I think. (Not sure if they went that way pre-1922, or via Hellifield). As in last regular steam hauled passenger train on 03/08/68 too.

EDIT: In general, I don't think they stopped at Ormskirk, however.

Ormskirk's main service was the Liverpool EMU from the bay (now the bus station path). There would have been services from the main platforms, but in my understanding the present hourly service from Ormskirk to Preston (when Northern can be bothered to actually run it) may well be the best service that has ever operated between *Ormskirk and Preston* themselves (the service was hourly for a while in the 1990s but I'm fairly sure had an earlier finish) and is definitely the best service that has ever been operated at the three intermediate stations.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
53,263
Location
Yorkshire
Ormskirk's main service was the Liverpool EMU from the bay (now the bus station path). There would have been services from the main platforms, but in my understanding the present hourly service from Ormskirk to Preston (when Northern can be bothered to actually run it) may well be the best service that has ever operated between *Ormskirk and Preston* themselves (the service was hourly for a while in the 1990s but I'm fairly sure had an earlier finish) and is definitely the best service that has ever been operated at the three intermediate stations.
That would make sense, as I suspect the through service to Scotland wasn't particularly frequent? Also it appears not all of them called at Ormskirk.

Does anyone have access to a copy of the old timetables?

For some decades, I think. (Not sure if they went that way pre-1922, or via Hellifield)....
I found some information here:
In the 1960s the passenger and goods services on the Settle & Carlisle line were in transition ... with one exception, the Manchester and Liverpool to Scotland expresses had been diverted to the West Coast main line many years previously...
I stand to be corrected but I believe the last mainline scheduled steam hauled passenger service, Preston to Liverpool Exchange, 3.8.68, was in fact a portion of a Scotland to Liverpool service via Ormskirk.
That does tally with what is stated on the Disused Stations entry for Liverpool Exchange:
By summer 1968 the Liverpool Exchange to Glasgow Central Sunday expresses were the only remaining scheduled steam-hauled passenger services in Great Britain. Many enthusiasts headed to Liverpool Exchange at this time to photograph and travel on the last services....
 

70014IronDuke

Established Member
Joined
13 Jun 2015
Messages
2,885
That would make sense, as I suspect the through service to Scotland wasn't particularly frequent? Also it appears not all of them called at Ormskirk.

I don't know if any called at Ormskirk. I think there were three or perhaps four trains per day in the 60s - except in the summer holiday period, when, in steam days of course, there could be any number of reliefs, and/or, I suspect the workings were sometimes kept as separate, longer trains. If someone has an old timetable, it would confirm or otherwise.

In steam days (well, 50s and 60s) I think Newton Heath/Polmadie Patriots, Jubilees and Scots were the main power. But Clans also were put on them. And Brits. I presume the Liverpool Exchange portions were generally considered the 'secondary' train, I suspect they used Black 5s normally. Bank Hall had some Jubilees, but I think these were for the Liverpool Exchange - York - Newcastles.

That does tally with what is stated on the Disused Stations entry for Liverpool Exchange:

The final steam-hauled train on 03.08.68 was most definitely part of a Glasgow+Edinburgh to Manchester+Liverpool.
This train left Glasgow Central at around 17.30 or so (from memory) and it also acted as a kind of commuter service to Carstairs and Lockerbie. (I caught it once or twice from Carstairs.) A detail that I don't know is whether there were through carriages from each origin to each destination, or whether, eg the Glasgow carriages just went to Manchester, and the Edinburgh carriages just went to Liverpool. On the final steam journey, I think the Liverpool portion was just four carriages. I can't be sure, but I suspect the Manchester portion was six, possibly with a buffet or restaurant.
 

Mutant Lemming

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2011
Messages
3,194
Location
London
From the September 10th 1951 timetable there were three services conveying through carriages from Liverpool Exchange to Glasgow Central or Edinburgh Princes Street

DEPARTING LIVERPOOL EXCHANGE :
9-43 am called Ormskirk to pick up only 10-02 am, Burscough Junction to pick up only 10-08am arriving Glasgow Central 3-30pm or Edinburgh Princes Street 3-24 pm

2-15pm TC and RC to Glasgow Central first stop Preston (pick up only) arriving Glasgow Central 7-51 pm

4-20 pm called Ormskirk to pick up only 4-46 pm arriving Glasgow Central 10-40 pm and Edinburgh Princes Street 10-31 pm

Other though carriages from Ormskirk went to Blackpool Central, Blackpool North & Fleetwood, Blackburn, Hellifield, Morecambe, Skipton and Windermere.

The Sleeping car services were by this time operating to and from Lime Street so not sure when the last overnight Liverpool Exchange to Scotland service was.
 

30907

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
10,891
Location
Airedale
That would make sense, as I suspect the through service to Scotland wasn't particularly frequent? Also it appears not all of them called at Ormskirk.

Does anyone have access to a copy of the old timetables?

1958 summer, SX :
8.57 Glasgow (RC) and Edinburgh, first stop (u) Preston.
4.25 G and E, attached to Manchester-Glasgow (RC) at Preston, called Ormskirk (u) and Burscough Jn.
Southbound 10.55 and 4.5 from GLC and Princes St, balancing workings to those, plus a 1.45pm (as the 4.5 but the Manchester portion had no RC) which seems unbalanced. The 1.45 and 4.5 made both intermediate stops.
Note the poor utilisation of stock - one 5 hour trip each day. I haven't got access to a mid 60s timetable to see if it had improved by then - it was certainly more efficient in the Intercity era.
The Liverpool-Glasgow sleeper ran from Lime Street.
There were, of course other fast and semi-fast trains North of Ormskirk.

This does underline the point, made in the original thread, that back then Glasgow was significantly more important than Edinburgh (to the railway, I mean, before I start anything!).
 

Bevan Price

Established Member
Joined
22 Apr 2010
Messages
5,543
Sunday and some "summer only" Scottish services called at Ormskirk; a few had also called at Burscough Jn.
The final Scottish service from Glasgow / Edinburgh to Liverpool Exchange ran on Sunday 3 May 1970, worked from Preston by D314 (Class 40), with me as one of the passengers.
 

M28361M

Member
Joined
15 May 2014
Messages
435
Location
Liverpool
Were there any occasions post-1970 when engineering diversions or railtours saw passenger trains running through Ormskirk? Although the Liverpool-bound track was severed with a buffer stop, I recall the other track (the former track towards Preston) was retained as an "emergency" through connection until at least the late 1980s.
 

Taunton

Established Member
Joined
1 Aug 2013
Messages
5,997
I was a regular between Edinburgh and Liverpool in the mid 1970s, after the WCML electrification. There were a couple of through services a day between Liverpool and Edinburgh, but otherwise the best available connections, given there were no other through services between Preston and Liverpool Lime Street, was express down to Preston, thence a Class 108 to Ormskirk and an electric beyond. It was slow, all-stations progress but at least direct. The diesel and electric were nose to nose with two bufferstops in the onetime Up Main platform at Ormskirk, the former down line did appear connected at both ends as a link, but was rusted, and I'm not sure it was even signalled any more. The line north of Ormskirk had been singled, and fitted with traditional single line tokens.
 

frodshamfella

Established Member
Joined
25 Sep 2010
Messages
1,299
Location
Frodsham
Also interesting that the line to Ormskirk was electric from 1913, I've just learnt Nina book in reading Electric Railways of Liverpool and Manchester by Graeme For ages. What a shame is those expansion minded days it didn't carry on to Preston then. Although I don't know when Ormskirk to Preston was built.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
65,596
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
Were there any occasions post-1970 when engineering diversions or railtours saw passenger trains running through Ormskirk? Although the Liverpool-bound track was severed with a buffer stop, I recall the other track (the former track towards Preston) was retained as an "emergency" through connection until at least the late 1980s.

It was there well into the 90s but rusted and disused (and not signalled).
 

frodshamfella

Established Member
Joined
25 Sep 2010
Messages
1,299
Location
Frodsham
Of course there is the much talked about severed curve at Burscough which from what I saw when I passed it on the way to Preston, it did not look as if it would be a massive problem to bring it back, not built over etc.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
65,596
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
Of course there is the much talked about severed curve at Burscough which from what I saw when I passed it on the way to Preston, it did not look as if it would be a massive problem to bring it back, not built over etc.

There are advantages of house prices up that way being a bit lower than down South - there isn't the frenzy to build on every available bit of land. I still think the best value approach for the Curves would be to recast to having Merseyrail run on from Ormskirk to Burscough Bridge calling at Mill Dam Lane (long proposed), Burscough Junction and Burscough Bridge, then hourly single-unit Burscough Bridge calling at all stations to Preston, all connecting nicely with the existing Southport-Manchester Vic service.
 

frodshamfella

Established Member
Joined
25 Sep 2010
Messages
1,299
Location
Frodsham
There are advantages of house prices up that way being a bit lower than down South - there isn't the frenzy to build on every available bit of land. I still think the best value approach for the Curves would be to recast to having Merseyrail run on from Ormskirk to Burscough Bridge calling at Mill Dam Lane (long proposed), Burscough Junction and Burscough Bridge, then hourly single-unit Burscough Bridge calling at all stations to Preston, all connecting nicely with the existing Southport-Manchester Vic service.

And of course by road from Southport to Preston is a bit of a drag. It would make a lot of sense to reconnect these two quite large towns/cities.

Yes see what you mean about extend the Merseyrail up to Burscough that would make sense. Quite a bit of housing there and there must be plenty of commuting into Liverpool city. I'm sure plenty will drive to Ormskirk now to take direct service.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
65,596
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
And of course by road from Southport to Preston is a bit of a drag. It would make a lot of sense to reconnect these two quite large towns/cities.

Running a through Southport-Preston DMU service (two units) would I suppose make the job at Burscough easier, as you'd only need a single bay platform (for Merseyrail) rather than two, or you could more likely get away with having a reversing siding instead of modifying the station.
 

frodshamfella

Established Member
Joined
25 Sep 2010
Messages
1,299
Location
Frodsham
I'm guessing the line from Ormskirk to Preston must have been double in the Scottish services days ?
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
65,596
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
I'm guessing the line from Ormskirk to Preston must have been double in the Scottish services days ?

Yes, it was singled in the 1980s I believe. The second platforms are all still in place and visible albeit pretty overgrown these days. No track left though there are if I recall rightly still some sleepers with chairs near the WCML junction.

Rufford has also retained its second platform in use, though trains do not regularly pass there even in the new hourly timetable, passing on the WCML or the short double track section north of the branch proper - I wonder when the last time a train did pass there was? I guess it might be used in the hourly timetable in the event of serious delays.
 

frodshamfella

Established Member
Joined
25 Sep 2010
Messages
1,299
Location
Frodsham
Yes, it was singled in the 1980s I believe. The second platforms are all still in place and visible albeit pretty overgrown these days. No track left though there are if I recall rightly still some sleepers with chairs near the WCML junction.

Rufford has also retained its second platform in use, though trains do not regularly pass there even in the new hourly timetable, passing on the WCML or the short double track section north of the branch proper - I wonder when the last time a train did pass there was? I guess it might be used in the hourly timetable in the event of serious delays.

The next logical move must be to somehow run a through service. If Merseyrail went up to Burscough on it every 15 mins service ( or is it 20 what ever ) then with maybe one per how going forward or maybe two. I'm of the mind provide a frequent and reliable service and passengers use it more.

I will have to go along the line from Liverpool to Preston via Ormskirk again and take a look at what was there beyond Ormskirk. They only use one platform there as well.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
65,596
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
The next logical move must be to somehow run a through service. If Merseyrail went up to Burscough on it every 15 mins service ( or is it 20 what ever ) then with maybe one per how going forward or maybe two. I'm of the mind provide a frequent and reliable service and passengers use it more.

I think once Northern's present issues are sorted out there will be significant growth from the move from a bitty 1h15ish frequency to perfect clockface hourly with an impressively early start and late finish for what is now a rural local line. I think it would be difficult to justify any more than that on what is a relatively quiet rural line.
 

Taunton

Established Member
Joined
1 Aug 2013
Messages
5,997
I still think the best value approach for the Curves would be to recast to having Merseyrail run on from Ormskirk to Burscough Bridge calling at Mill Dam Lane (long proposed), Burscough Junction and Burscough Bridge, then hourly single-unit Burscough Bridge calling at all stations to Preston, all connecting nicely with the existing Southport-Manchester Vic service.
I suspect that if Chris Green had been responsible for this part of the world in his BR career, it would have been done - and cheaply. The organisational issues now are extending the Merseyrail electric service outside their designated area, which they will doubtless not pay for and there is no national funds source to do so. Similarly the various proposals I've seen for this, both here and local politicians, all seem to get carried away beyond such a small scale project. They want to extend the Preston service to Southport rather than connect to the existing service; they want to project the electrics all the way to Southport as well; they want to turn Burscough Bridge station into a mini Clapham Junction, etc.
 

Shaw S Hunter

Established Member
Joined
21 Apr 2016
Messages
2,318
Location
Sunny South Lancs
I suspect that if Chris Green had been responsible for this part of the world in his BR career, it would have been done - and cheaply. The organisational issues now are extending the Merseyrail electric service outside their designated area, which they will doubtless not pay for and there is no national funds source to do so. Similarly the various proposals I've seen for this, both here and local politicians, all seem to get carried away beyond such a small scale project. They want to extend the Preston service to Southport rather than connect to the existing service; they want to project the electrics all the way to Southport as well; they want to turn Burscough Bridge station into a mini Clapham Junction, etc.

Sadly it seems local politicians are unable to resist the temptation to try empire-building. GMPTE/TfGM have been particularly bad for this with their expressed aspirations to convert almost all local rail routes to Metrolink though it would appear such plans are now kept out of public view. The biggest challenge for TfN (apart from getting any money!) is to suppress parochialism and convince all concerned to genuinely look at the bigger picture. The possible re-use of the Burscough curves is a good example.
 

krus_aragon

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2009
Messages
5,529
Location
North Wales
That would make sense, as I suspect the through service to Scotland wasn't particularly frequent? Also it appears not all of them called at Ormskirk.

Does anyone have access to a copy of the old timetables?

Winter 1963/64 timetable through services, weekdays:
06:00 Liverpool Exchange to Preston (TC to Blackpool Central) arriving 06:56, callling at Sandhills, Ormskirk, Burcourgh Jn, Rufford, Croston, Lostock Hall, Todd Lane Jn
08:36 Liverpool Exchange to Preston (TC to Blackpool North and Fleetwood) arriving 09:31, callling at Sandhills, Ormskirk, Burcourgh Jn, Rufford, Croston, Lostock Hall, Todd Lane Jn
09:50 Liverpool Exchange to Preston SO arriving 10:38, callling at Aintree Sefton Arms, Ormskirk, Burcourgh Jn (also SX arriving 10:36 from 20th April 1964)
11:05 Liverpool Exchange to Preston (TC to Blackpool Central) arriving 12:01, callling at Aintree Sefton Arms, Ormskirk, Burcourgh Jn, Rufford, Croston, Lostock Hall, Todd Lane Jn
12:35 Liverpool Exchange to Preston (TC to Blackpool Central) arriving 13:34, callling at Aintree Sefton Arms, Ormskirk, Burcourgh Jn, Rufford, Croston, Lostock Hall, Todd Lane Jn
13:10 Liverpool Exchange to Preston SO (TC to Blackpool Central ) arriving 14:02, callling at Maghull, Ormskirk, Burcourgh Jn, Rufford, Croston, Lostock Hall, Todd Lane Jn
15:15 Liverpool Exchange to Preston SX arriving 12:01, callling at Ormskirk, Burcourgh Jn, Todd Lane Jn
16:03 Liverpool Exchange to Preston arriving 17:00, callling at Aintree Sefton Arms, Ormskirk, Burcourgh Jn, Rufford, Croston, Lostock Hall, Todd Lane Jn
16:35 Liverpool Exchange to Preston (TC to Glasgow Central (+RC) and Edinburgh Princes St) arriving 17:14, no intermediate stops
16:40 Liverpool Exchange to Preston SX (TC to Blackpool Central and Skipton) arriving 17:23, calling at Burscough Jn
17:00 Liverpool Exchange to Preston (TC to Fleetwood and Windermere (SX) ) arriving 17:49, callling at Aintree Sefton Arms (pick up), Ormskirk, Burcourgh Jn, Croston
17:45 Liverpool Exchange to Preston (TC to Millom and Bootle (SO) ) arriving 18:31, callling at Ormskirk, Burcourgh Jn
19:40 Liverpool Exchange to Preston arriving 17:49, callling at Aintree Sefton Arms (SO), Ormskirk, Burcourgh Jn
21:00 Liverpool Exchange to Preston (TC to Blackpool Central ) arriving 17:49, callling at Ormskirk, Burcourgh Jn

There are seventeen through services in the other direction which call at Ormskirk, as well as six from and eight toward Liverpool on a Sunday. Post if you want the details of those services.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
65,596
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
Always amazes me just how bitty and random services used to be. The planning effort of working out a whole day of seemingly randomly timed services rather than just planning a standard hour must have been immense.
 

Taunton

Established Member
Joined
1 Aug 2013
Messages
5,997
Always amazes me just how bitty and random services used to be. The planning effort of working out a whole day of seemingly randomly timed services rather than just planning a standard hour must have been immense.
Not as bad as you think. Because although the public timetable pattern and stock utilisation may seem random, the crews (three men) would have more logical rosters, that sensibly covered a working day, with schedules built around this.

For example, if you have a regular hourly service, 50 minutes each way, nowadays the crew can do two round trips, but then have a break so you need a second crew to cover that. Although these can be said to be glibly doing "something else" the rest of the time, that often doesn't work out. I believe onetime LMS steam crews were paid a bonus once they went through (115?) miles in a day, so it was economical to keep inside that. One Liverpool to Blackpool and back, coincidentally 110 miles round trip, was a good day's work for a crew.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top