Wednesday 25 January 2023

Is It A Train? No, It's A Bus! (Part 1)

From A New Town Via Newtown to Seaport

Back then, the BBC was not full of originality for its fictional place names. Aidensfield (ITV Heartbeat)? Fine? Emmerdale (ITV)? Great! Wetherfield (ITV Corrie)? Appropriate considering the weather! Walford (BBC 'Enders)? Believable! Angleton (BBC Newcomers)? Hmmm.

Z-Cars was set in the Merseyside community of Newtown with occasional forays into nearby Seaport. Oft referenced, however, was The A580 East Lancs Road.
The M58 had not been invented way back then.

Our tale centres on another new town a little north and east of Kirkby, the Newtown of John Watt and Charlie Barlow.

fbb refers to Skelmersdale, known locally as Skem. This was Skem in the 1930s.
... and this is today!
You would be harf-pressed to find the original village in the map above. But here it is - more like was - slightly to the east of the north south orange road.
Blaguegate, just about decipherable from the 1930s map, is the clue. 

And Skem had a railway station.
This is looking north towards a level crossing on the red road (map below).
The orange road in today's map is built on the line of the railway.

Now, all that remains is the Railway Tavern (looking South), seen peeping out from behind the station building in the old picture above (to the left of the footbridge).
And here it its location on a map supplied on-line by "Disused Stations".
This former route crossed and juncted with the line between Liverpool and Wigan at Rainford Junction, now just an un-junctioned place name!
There is a line of scrub north of the junction ...
... whilst southbound the track bed is designated as a linear park ..
 ... i.e footpath and cycleway with bushes, right though to the southern edge of Rainford itself.
This was Rainford Junction ...
... looking west with lines to Skelmersdale and Ormskirk veering right ...
... todays remaining line to Liverpool going straight on and the route to St Helens off to the left. Note, for reference, there was no curve to Skem from the Liverpool direction.

Well, the footbridge and signal box  are still there ...
... and the station is now called just Rainford. 
It used to be a great place for Pacers ...
... and, once upon a time, through trains ran from Liverpool to Wigan.
Now you have to change at Kirkby ...
... where there is a physical gap, appropriately buffer stopped, between the electrics from Liverpool and the diesels to Wigan.
But Lancashire County Council wants to extend the electric rails to Skelmersdale by turning left somewhere near the former Rainford Junction.

Excited blog readers should read-on tomorrow!

To add to the excitement, Kirkby has a bus interchange.

Limmattalbhn A P.S.
fbb forgot to explain. The brand new trams for Line 20 are seven segment vehicles.
They are reversible with driving cab at both ends - unlike Zurich city trams which are single ended and need turning circles.
Also missed by fbb is a tunnel at Spital ...
.. shown as a dotted line on the tram map.
It is seen below under construction ...
... and from the air.

 Next Skelmersdale blog : Thursday 26th January 

1 comment:

  1. Andrew Kleissner25 January 2023 at 15:57

    Now Seatown (Dorset) to Newport (take your pick which one) could be interesting!