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The Abandoned Tracks of Birkenhead Town Railway

Hidden within the heart of Birkenhead is an abandoned railway line which people walk past in their every day to day activities without notice. Sometimes you just need to open your eyes, to see just exactly what is around you. Birkenhead Town railway station was a railway station in Birkenhead, Wirral, England. It was located near the current entrance to the Queensway Tunnel on Grange Road. The site, on which the station was built, was to the east of Birkenhead's original railway terminus at Grange Lane, which closed in 1844.  To the north lay two tunnel entrances; the first, completed in 1844, led to the town's second terminus at Monks Ferry. To the left of this portal lay the tunnel to the new passenger terminus of Birkenhead Woodside, built in 1878. Subsequently, the Monks Ferry branch was used exclusively for freight. Birkenhead Town station was opened on 1 January 1889 by the Joint Committee of the Chester and Birkenhead Railway, administered by the Great Western Railway(GWR) and the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). It was built to accommodate the nearby commercial centre of Birkenhead. The line which travelled through the station bore trains from Birkenhead Woodside to London Paddington, but only local trains from Woodside to Chester, West Kirby, Helsby and North Wales served the station.

 

A freight depot, handling minerals, had been established by the LNWR at the former locomotive shed on the site of the original Grange Lane terminus. Known as the Birkenhead Town Goods Depot, this facility was surplus to requirements by the middle of the 20th century and was closed on 29 May 1961. In 1934, the Queensway road tunnel to Liverpool was opened. This had been established opposite the entrance to the station, after the demolition of much property in the vicinity. This development also resulted in the station becoming cut off from reasonable access to the town's market area and the residential district near Birkenhead Priory.

 

Birkenhead Town station closed on 7 May 1945, although the line continued in use until 1967 when Birkenhead Woodside closed. As of 2007, the tunnels (now partially infilled) and site of the station still exist. However, the area is now enclosed between the approach roads to the Queensway road tunnel entrance, which were redesigned and extended in the 1960s. It was in January 2015, that the old lines were explored and here is some photos for you to see the amazing history that is hidden away from the world, waiting to be re-utilised and restored to its former glory.