Disused St Helens railway - April 2019

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Apr 18, 2019
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St Helens, Lancashire
Hi folks

A couple of days ago I did an urbex of an old disused railway just outside of st helens town centre and recorded my first urbex video...
Just found this on Wikipedia about it...

"St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway, later known as St Helens Railway, was an early railway company in Lancashire, England, which opened in 1833. It ran originally from the town of St Helens to the area which would later develop into the town of Widnes. Branches were opened to Garston, Warringtonand Rainford. The company was taken over by the London and North Western Railway in 1864. The line from St Helens to Widnes and the branch to Rainford are now closed, the latter terminating at the Pilkington Glass' Cowley Hill works siding near Gerard's Bridge, but part of the lines to Garston and to Warrington are still in operation.

Widnes Dock Junction and the flat crossing were causing problems of congestion and the LNWR dealt with this by building a deviation line of just under 1.5 miles (2 km) to the north of the original west-east line, crossing the line leading north to St Helens by a bridge. The deviation line was authorised on 5 July 1865 and opened on 1 November 1869. The line was connected to the St Helens and it included a new station for passengers. With the opening of the line from Weaver Junctionacross the Mersey on Runcorn Railway Bridgeto Ditton Junction, west of Widnes, the Garston extension became part of the Liverpool-London main line. Following the merger of most of Britain's railways into four private companies in 1923, the line from St Helens to Widnes became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). Large quantities of freight were carried on the line and the passenger train from St Helen's to Ditton Junction station was nicknamed the Ditton Dodger.[1]

Following the end of the Second World Warpassenger traffic declined and the service provided by the Ditton Dodger ended on 16 June 1951. Freight traffic initially continued to be heavy but it declined during the 1960s. In 1969 the line north from Farnworth and Bold station was singled and in 1975 the line south of the station was also singled. The line closed to through traffic on 1 November 1981. The track has been lifted and some of the southern part of the route is occupied by Watkinson Way, a road providing an easterly bypass for Widnes and connecting the Silver Jubilee Bridge with the M62 motorway. The base of the swing bridge which carried the railway over the canal is still present in Spike Island."