The 8D Association



A look back at the walks and visits from 2013.

Knotty Ash and West Derby.

On 6th April the group met at Knotty Ash station and walked the trackbed of the CLC North Liverpool extension. Led by Paul Wright they explored the site of Knotty Ash station and walked to West Derby station. The station at West Derby has survived as a private residence and a shop also the platforms are pretty much intact. The group then walked back through Knotty Ash to the Thomas Road tunnel. The walk was conducted on Grand National day which was ironically the busiest day for the line with many special trains operating. 


The group at the start of the walk examining what remains of Knotty Ash station.


At West Derby station there was plenty to see with platforms and buildings intact.
6th April 2013.
Both photographs by Terry Callaghan.


The Group at the end of the walk after walking through Thomas Lane tunnel.
6th April 2013.
Photo by John Wilson.

Intersection Bridge to Reginald Road Bridge.

On 4th May the group met and walked to the site of the St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway works which was later used by the LNWR as their Central Stores. Led by Joe Cowley we also walked the trackbed from the Intersection Bridge to the Reginald Road overbridge. This was a slightly different walk to the advertised one due to the area in question being subject of redevelopment with the clearing of the SH & RGR embankment and the site of the works. Housing is to be built on the whole site in the near future but with the clearance of the trackbed some very interesting finds were made. Click here for more details of the treasure we found.


The group at the start of the walk surveying the site of the SH & RGR works.
4th May 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.


The group standing at the SH & RGR works site.
4th May 2013.
Photo by Paul Wright.

 CLC Halewood Triangle.

On a glorious evening nearly 20 members of the Association walked the former CLC lines Halewood Triangle. The area itself has been turned into a large public outdoor space with path boardwalks and ponds. Surprisingly there was still many railway related items to see even though the majority of the lines were removed over 40 years ago. There is also a visitors centre on Okell Drive where many of the railway related artefacts found during the conversion into a public space are on display. The inner and outer triangles were visited and with the aid of many old photographs the sites of junctions, signal boxes and a subway were found.


A wooden signal pulley post visible in the undergrowth.
6th June 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.


A permanent way chipping bin for track gangs to pack chippings under the sleepers was evident on the Western outer triangle section.
6th June 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.


The group standing on the Western Inner triangle tackbed.
6th June 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.


Paul Wright, who led the talk at a pile of concrete sleepers which were dumped a considerable distance away from the trackbed.
6th June 2013.
Photo by Martin Peers.


A rail chair still attached to one of the sleepers seen above.
6th June 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.


The area of the triangle with its sidings complex and links with the docks was considered of strategic importance in the Second World War with troops stationed within the area of the triangle. Evidence of this remains with several 'tank traps' visible.
6th June 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.


Looking towards Manchester with Hunts Cross station to the rear it is hard to believe that there was once a vast sidings complex to the left of the train. 156 489 passes the site with a Liverpool bound service.
6th June 2013.
Photo by Martin Peers.

Sunnybank Park CLC Junction.

On 22nd June the group met at Sunnybank Park the site of the eastern junctions of the CLC and Widnes Loop line. There has been much disturbance of the land around the junctions and the site of Widnes East signal box with the are being used as a landfill site. But with an informative talk by Paul Wright the lines and connections could be envisaged. The group made their way along the trackbed to view the bridge at Dans Road the major surviving feature in the area.


The group at the site of Widnes South Junction with Paul Wright describing an unusual accident which occurred at the location.



Dans Road overbridge has recently been strengthened with a large concrete block inserted into the bridge where the trackbed once stood it has been faced with sandstone.


The group at Dans Road bridge.
22nd June 2013.
All photographs by Terry Callaghan.

Sankey Bridges to Fidlers Ferry.

On 4th July members met at the site of Sankey Bridges station and walked to the site of Fidlers Ferry station. The talk led by Paul Wright took in the history of the construction and operation of both the railway and the canal. There was chance to see the remains of the station at Sankey Bridges and features at Fidlers Ferry station. Altogether a pleasant and informative walk on a fine summers evening.


Sankey Bridges station and swing bridge site. Paul explaining the circumstances around a Great Northern engine ending up in the canal after the swing bridge was left open.


Fidlers Ferry station goods yard with the group looking at the base of the yard crane which is still in situ and marked 'manufactured by LNWR at Crewe Works'.


We had the chance to observe an empty hopper train leaving Fidlers Ferry Power Station at the level crossing by the old station.


The group standing on the bank of the Mersey estuary at the end of the walk.
4th July 2013.
All photographs by Terry Callaghan.

Rail Ale 13th July 2013.

Following the success of the Yorkshire Rail Ale tour in 2012 the association organised a tour of Merseyside for 2013. Starting in Liverpool and taking in Southport, Birkdale, Freshfield and Waterloo the group enjoyed a day sampling the Real Ale offered by various hostelries. Many excellent beers were sampled and a grand day out was had by all, the weather was very kind too.


After a leisurely pint in the Guest House it was off to Birkdale for another.
13th July 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.


The Freshfield at Formby was our penultimate pub.
13th July 2013.
Photo by Joe Woods.


Fiddlers Ferry Power Station Visit 3rd August 2013.

On 3rd August the members visited the power station complex for the second time. This time a visit to the unloading bunker was the highlight and the group were able to witness the unloading of a Freightliner hopper train hauled by a Class 70 locomotive. After a thoroughly interesting tour of the plant the group were allowed to view the Class 70 locomotive up close. Many thanks to Scottish and Southern Energy Plc, especially Gemma and her team for making our visit memorable.


The group following their tour of the plant.


8D member Lee Woods on 70 010.


8D members Arthur Turner (ex 8C) and Rod Dixon (ex 8G).


Members having a good look at the Class 70.
3rd August 2013.
All photos by Paul Wright.

Halton Miniature Railway 21st September 2013.

A grand day out was had by all at this welcoming railway with members given the opportunity to drive locos around the mile long track. We were also treated to a tour of the facilities and the line. Click here for further information and pictures from the day.


The group at Mousetrap Hall station at the start of the visit.
Photo by Tony Foster.


Clock Face to Reginald Road.

On 12th October the group met to walk the section of the St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway from Clock Face through to Reginald Road. Now a barely visible single line trackbed this area once contained the Clock Face sidings complex. The line at this point consisted of the Up and Down main line with additional Up Loops 1 and 2 and Down Loops 1 and 2. In addition to this there was an Up and Down sidings which comprised 8 sidings, so all in all a large complex. Due to serious earth movement caused by a natural geological fault named the 'Roaring Meg' it is hard to believe that there was ever such a mass of sidings here. Where the Up sidings complex was situated the land has dropped by around 8 feet with the main track bed and the Down sidings complex rising around 4 feet. The group also took time to look closely at the Hawthorn Road bridge constructed to allow a ancient trackway to pass under the railway unhindered. The Up sidings passed over the bridge along with the main running lines and loops making it a once sizeable bridge. We then walked through to Reginald Road where the overbridge has since been removed and the huge timbers which supported the track over the roadway have been left.


Joe Cowley explaining the layout of the are at the start of the walk.
12th October 2013.
Photo by Les Fifoot.


Some early wooden cable troughing was unearthed with only roots contained within.
12th October 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.


After a serious movement of the trackbed in the 1960's the bridge over Hawthorn Road had to be raised. A single line portion of the original bridge was cut away and lifted onto the concrete blocks placed on the original bridge abutments.
12th October 2013.
Photo by Les Fifoot.



Some large cracks could be noted in the bridge abutments at Hawthorn Road.
12th October 2013.
Photo by Les Fifoot.


The Railway Authorities have been monitoring the movement and damage that the local fault line has been causing for many years as this repair dated 21st April 1949 shows. Other areas were dated through the 1950's and 1960's.
12th October 2013.
Photo by David Smallshaw.


The group taking in the size of the bridge which carried the main running lines and the Up sidings complex over Hawthorn Road.
12th October 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.


The very large bridge beams removed from the bridge over Reginald Road. They are from the Jarrah tree a very strong and hard wearing hardwood imported from Western Australia.
12th October 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.


Les Fifoot looking rather pleased after scrumping several apples.
12th October 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.



The group at the end of the walk with Peter Murray proudly displaying his 'entrenching tool', a folding spade to the rest of us.
12th October 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.

Allerton Depot visit.

On 14th December members of the group visited the Northern Trains depot at Allerton on a tour organised by Richard Mercer. Our thanks are extended to John Dillon and his team of fitters for making us very welcome and for the information they provided us during our visit. Click here for more detail and photographs of the visit.


The group at the start of their tour being given a short talk by John Dillon as to the functions carried out by the depot.
14th December 2013.
Photo by Terry Callaghan.







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